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GUIDE TO GARDENING WITH LITTLE ONES
Getting kids into the garden is a wonderful way to teach them about nature and where their food comes from. Here's a guide from our friends at Tui Garden, plus some fun activities to get your little ones inspired in the garden!
What to plant:
Planting crops that give quick results is a great way to keep children enthusiastic when getting them started.
Crunchy, colourful and ready to harvest a month or so after sowing, radish is an easy crop that flourishes with only the simplest of care - plant in a warm spot on Friday and start to see them germinate on Monday.
Such as lettuce, spinach and mesclun are easy to plant and can be harvested a leaf at a time.
Introduce children to the goodness of the Brassica family including broccolli, cauliflower, cabbage, cavalo nero and mizuna. Mizuna is one of the speediest crop you can ever grow, it is ready to harvest within a matter of weeks.
These can be eaten straight from the plant, and do well in the cooler months. Plant as seedlings rather than seeds.
Once the weather warms, plant a variety of flavoursome cherry tomatoes - the perfect snack off the vine for children.
Bees are important pollinators you want to bring to your backyard, and are an essential ingredient to any successful vege garden. Teach children how to attract beneficial bees into the garden to aid pollination of crops by planting sweet smelling flowers.
The following are all great bee friendly options to plant: marigolds, poppies, cosmos, hollyhocks, fox gloves, echium, clover, nasturtiums, salvia, alyssum, lavender, honeysuckle and sunflowers. Sunflowers are a fun flower for the kids to grow, they are a quick and easy summer flower - simply sow seeds directly into the soil in a sunny spot. Young plants will appear in a week or two.
Kids love water and it’s the backbone of a garden! Get the children to help with watering the crops they have helped planted every couple of days.
You can also teach them how important water is to the garden and by making water capturing systems with buckets or bottles to save rain water, and then applying it to the garden.
Fun activities to try:
Collect leaves and flowers from around the garden to create works of art!
What you need:
- A selection of child friendly paints or ink pads.
- Nature treasures: go on a hunt in the backyard for leaves of different shapes, flowers, seed pods, pinecones and bark.
- White A4 or A3 paper and a paintbrush.
Make your nature image:
- Press the nature treasures into the ink pad or paint each treasure in your chosen colours and press onto the paper to reveal patterns.
Garden treasure hunt
Send the kids on a treasure hunt (or do it as a family!) in your backyard and find the following:
- 2 x coloured flowers, and name the colours
- 4 x green leaves
- 2 x fruit or veges growing in the garden and name the crop
- 1 x snail
- 1 x bee or butterfly
- 2 x coloured leaves
- 1 x worm
Discover more kids garden inspiration at tuiproducts.co.nz and share your garden snaps with #tuigardenactivities
Tui have been helping Kiwis produce fantastic results in their gardens for more than 100 years. We don’t rest on last season’s crop though, we’re continually developing innovative products that will suit New Zealand’s distinct climate, conditions and lifestyle.
We also love to inspire Kiwi’s in the garden, and provide advice, education, guidance and products that make gardening achievable and enjoyable for both new and experienced gardeners.
- Guest post written by Tui Garden