Dear mummy, the weather has been glorious recently and we’ve taken full advantage of it spending every hour of sunlight in our garden. It was like a jungle when we first stepped foot outside last week. After weeding, mowing the lawn and raking the leaves we turned our attention to the lack of plants. We have no flowers in our garden anymore *sob* so we decided to sow some seeds and grow some more!
Unfortunately a lot of our unkept plants have withered away and died so this time we are going to look after them. We are planting some more seedlings before the summer hits. It’s early May and only just hotting up, so now is the perfect opportunity.
We grab my trusty tuff spot which we picked up from Wicks at £15.99 and it’s great to contain the mess. Loose seeds and soil can be scooped up quite easily in this large ridged tray. We originally bought it for crafting activities to do inside the house and off the carpet but it’s great outdoors too! We also use a propagator tray which creates a green house environment for the little seeds and keeps the soil nice and moist. It also means we can keep the seeds in the house and watch their progress!
My mummy starts off with helping me fill up the little containers with soil. A mixture of compost from a bag and our clay from the garden. I love getting mucky and enjoy getting stuck in, scooping up the soil and patting it down in the compartments. It’s very messy and we haven’t any gardening gloves so dirt gets under our finger nails, between my toes and in my hair!
We try to dodge the little baby snails and slugs which have made their way into the compost bag, and we save them and put them out on the front fence….far away from mummy’s prized roses! They look sooo cute and I spend ages looking at them, I even take one inside the house to show daddy! eeeek….it could still be inside somewhere?!?
My mummy opens the packets of seed, some are so small they are like grains of sand! Others are large like nuts! We poke holes in the soil with our fingers and plop the seeds inside. I tuck them up in their little beds with more soil on top and give them a good water.
I’m fascinated with all the different shapes of the seeds. And my mummy and I inspect them closely wondering which does which. My mummy places some inside on the windowsill, others in the conservatory and some in plant pots outside. It will be a competition to see what grows first!
I’ve been watching them eagerly to see if they have grown, checking back every 2 hours. Still disappointed I can’t see anything! My mummy chuckles. If they are anything like last year they will do well.
Fingers crossed they will grow into big and strong healthy plants. Here’s our top tips for kiddie friendly gardening and to remember in the great outdoors!
1) Creepy crawlies and bugs are awesome!
Kids aren’t inherently afraid of things that crawl and creep. They learn that these bugs are scary or icky from adults. Enjoy finding them and creating little homes for them. See the bugs as an integral part of the outdoor ecosystem and the kids will be amazed and curious, not afraid. My mummy is trying not to pass on an aversion to something because of how it looks, she doesn’t like her prejudices being passed on to me. So bites her tongue when she sees wiggly worms, caterpillars, insects, spiders and wasps.
2) Dirt is your friend.
All kids are washable, don’t worry if they get mucky! Playing outside with mud is a great sensory experience.
3) Kids and chemicals don’t mix.
Obvious really, keep it all ‘Au Natural’. Water, soil and no nasty plant sprays unless it’s natural. Kids might rub their eyes or thumb suck and running around wiping their hands isn’t practical. Also I wouldn’t want loads of chemicals on my cherry tomatoes! A little dirt never hurt anyone. I eat grass all the time! 😉
4) Let the kids take control.
Let them wander free (but within sight) it’s how they learn on their own. Let them get dirty and make mistakes, venture into the unknown and climb a fallen tree. Just be on hand to guide them occasionally. When creating a kids garden adults need to facilitate and show how, but not do everything!! I kinda like weeds in my little garden patch especially the yellow ones and hate my mummy…or grandma interfering! (She knows what we’re talking about – last year she ‘weeded’ my precious sunflower shoots)
5) Reinforce the lessons from the outdoors while indoors.
Get kids ready for their outdoors adventure by asking questions like, “What will we see today?” We like visiting our seeds and plants and seeing if they have grown. When I’m a bit older my mummy wants me to keep a field journal so I can record all my outdoor discoveries. She’s thinking pressed leaves and drawings of the seasonal flowers we find….maybe even fairies at the bottom of my garden!
Progress update: It’s been a couple of days and already we have seen shoots coming from our propagator tray on the windowsill! We can’t believe it!
What have you planted this year?
Love Bella xx