Dig It! Gardening with Children
I love this time of year, the fresh slate of a new school year gives you a chance to start afresh, dig a veggie patch, buy some bulbs for next spring or plan a new border in the garden.
In many schools, the children will be having a go at gardening, but if your child’s school does not offer this option on the curriculum, perhaps they could be persuaded to start a gardening club, or you can tempt your child to give it a go at home? There are dozens of ideas on the Royal Horticultural Society’s website,
and you don’t even need a garden to enjoy the projects suggested. This autumn you could plant garlic, onions or broad beans in pots, or take hardwood cuttings, or make bird feeders.
If you are thinking about a gardening club at your school, or gardening at home with your child, then some appropriate child-sized tools will help get them interested. Jackie Eades is the founder of the British gardening company, Briers. Her tips for good starter tools include hand tools like trowels and spades, gloves, brushes and wheelbarrows.
Jackie Eades noted that gardening tools and accessories for children is a fast-growing market, as children garden at school in the UK as part of the National Curriculum and many children spend a great deal of time with their grandparents for child care. As a result, gardening companies are launching new and fun products that might just tempt your little one to don some gardening gloves
and get digging! Briers have created a “Gruffalo” themed range, based on the book, “The Gruffalo” by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Schiffler.
If you would like to start gardening at home with a younger child, then planting bulbs in pots is a perfect starter activity, not too messy and with a short time span required. Take them shopping to buy the bulbs and let them choose the bulbs they want to plant. Pick up a couple of light weight plastic pots and some bagged compost at the same time and get home and get planting! The bulbs will happily spend the winter outside and can be brought up close to the house when they start to flower.