The school summer holidays are almost at an end and we may be sliding into autumn, but there is still lots to be done in the garden. Every year I grow some plants with my children. I have various aims in mind when doing this. One is to encourage them to be active outside, another is to educate them about where food comes from.
This year I kept things very simple. We have grown tomatoes, potatoes and strawberries. The tomato plants are just beginning to produce ripe fruit now. The potatoes are also doing very well.
We’d better not say too much about the strawberries. It was my first ever attempt at growing them and thus far they’ve only produced the one edible fruit (although several plants are showing promise).
I wouldn’t claim to be the world’s best gardener, but I know the basics and I enjoy it. Some people I know are very keen to grow their own fruit and vegetables but don’t know where to start.
If you are keen to get busy in the garden, a new, free, online guide has been produced by garden centre operator and landscape garden specialist Capital Gardens (with whom I collaborated on this post). Called the Kids Gardening Guide, it is just that: a guide to inspiring children and getting them interested in gardening.
It tells you what skills and tips are needed to grow fruit vegetables and flowers. Rather helpfully for me, it includes a section dedicated to strawberries. Needless to say, I’ll be reading this very carefully!
If your youngster needs a little, shall we say, nudge to show some interest in the garden, there are a range of suggested games and activities to get them interested. These include colouring pages, a backyard treasure hunt and instructions for building a bird box and bee hotel.
There is also a leaf detection kit. I quite often take my kids out to collect and identify leaves and it’s an activity they enjoy greatly so I was glad to see this in the guide.
For children that are that bit more advanced, the guide provides details of Capital’s Young Gardner’s Club. By joining, your child can attend events and meet other like-minded children.
I found the guide very useful. Although aimed at children, it included a couple of planners, showing what can be planted during the year. I found this particularly useful. Although the main growing season may almost be over, there are still many, many plants that can be grown over the autumn and winter months.
Do you garden with your children? Would you find such a guide to be useful? Please do leave a comment below.