Spring is here and the weather is finally getting better, it’s this time of year that we like to start playing out in the garden. Unfortunately, our garden isn’t quite the football stadium size my children need it to be so instead we will fill our garden time with a vegetable patch!
I mean, who doesn’t love gardening with kids?
Planting vegetables is a slow process because of what comes before; the ground must be prepared really well and you’ll also need some slug and snail treatment on hand because those blighters would like nothing more than to have a good chomp on that new seedling greenery.
Preparing the soil is a relatively easy but physically challenging task. Firstly you’ll need to dig the ground with a fork, going quite deep and turning the soil. Be sure to remove as many of the weeds as possible at this stage because simply turning the ground will allow them to sprout straight back up and compete for nutrients, water, and sunlight of your new seedlings.
The next stage is to break up the clumps of mud with a rake. This will help make the soil as rise as possible for when we are ready to sow seed.
I saw this method on Garden Tool Box website of breaking the soil so fine that it meant when the seedling broke through its shell, it would be immediately exposed to sunlight and not have to grow further from uneven ground placement. This theory of fine soil preparation was also confirmed on BBC guides too. Remember if you’re involving the kids you really want a high success rate to keep them engaged and this means you’ll start seeing seedlings in as little as a couple of days.
Garden planting: sowing the seed
Sowing the seed is really easy once you’ve prepared the soil properly. Simply open up a really small trench about 1 cm deep and drop in your seed. Personally I would go for something like lettuce so that it grows quick and has a high success rate to keep the kids wanting to grow more after. When the kids drop the seed in just give them a little handful at a time so they don’t over-sow one area.
Once the seeds are in gently cover them with the dirt you removed from the trench. They will want a really light watering; be sure it is light or you’ll wash them away. Within a couple of days you’ll start to notice growth and this will be exciting for the kids.
Rinse and repeat
If you consistently water your vegetable patch and keep the slugs and snails at bay then you will be thoroughly rewarded for your efforts with a beautiful crop of lettuce. There’s something so satisfying about having your own homegrown organic produce and given the kids pitched in making they may well pitch in with the eating too 😉
Once the kids have a taste for this they’ll want to plant more and more. You can get them going with something quick growing like baby carrots or spinach. They will be impatient and want to try the produce ASAP.
Growing in the garden is almost certainly the best way of getting the kids occupied and interested in their surroundings and one worth at least a go. You can always resort to the swing or playhouse if this fails!