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Gardening for Kids

Remember when we were kids and our folks would send us into the neighbour's garden to snip a little shoot or two? Those long fingers more than often grow into green fingers.

But that was granny's style, while dad's style is more rudimentary form of nurturing our interest as kids was more of a life sentence than a naughty adventure with gran.

Dad's style was to punish me to weed the garden - but you know something, all of this played a part in awakening my interest in gardening.

It's actually very easy to get children interested in gardening, and to get them to appreciate the value of having nature surround the home.

You don't even need a garden to teach your kids an appreciation for Mother nature - start inside the home with the little ones by letting them care for the indoor plants. Let the little ones water the house plants and help you with replanting the pot plants.

This will instil in them an appreciation for plants, and it will give them the foundation for all gardening knowledge. See its gardening’s fundamentals, such as having to feed to have a sustainable garden that the little ones will absorb while tending to their first few plants. This is the knowledge that will one day result in the creativity and attention to detail that are the traits of a good hobbyist gardener.
Here's some simple suggestions: 
Get some seeds at the local store or nursery. Let your kid pick the seeds, while you gently guide their choice to something both you and your child can manage - and something that's seasonal.
Seeds of Marigolds and Petunias are easy choices to start with. If you have no garden then a good houseplant like Geraniums is a good choice and their seeds are widely available.
The tools - let your kid gather these: 
  • Your chosen seeds
  • An egg carton
  • Some planting soil mix
  • A spray bottle
  • A piece of plastic to wrap the egg carton in
The method - let your kid do this:
  • To make a good soil mix, pour some soil into a dish, and then add just enough water to make a damp (not soggy) soil mix.
  • With a spoon, place the soil mix into the hollow segments of your egg carton.
  • Get your tot to make a hole or depression in the soil, place 2 seeds in the hole and cover with soil. Repeat with all the segments.
  • Once this has been completed, mist over the ‘tray’, and then wrap the tray loosely with a plastic wrap.
  • Place the plastic wrapped ‘tray’ in a dark cupboard and don’t forget to check regularly and keep the soil moist.
  • Check every day until yours develop strong sprouts, when this does, simply break off compartments and plant out into a flowerpot.
  • Remember, they learn the care routine at this stage, keep checking and caring for the plant once it has been planted out.

Jeremy Killian


 Horticultural Solutions | Garden Maintenance Services Cape Town

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