National Children’s Gardening Week
Did you know it’s National Children’s Gardening Week from 29th May to 6th June (which neatly coincides with half term)?
No, neither did I until I received some growing and gardening ideas from our local garden centre Squires. Here’s a little inspiration for your young gardeners…
You can transform unwanted items such as old wellies, shoes, tins and bottles into quirky plant pots. They look great and are a brilliant way to recycle unwanted items. Check seed packs to see what flowers should be sown this month.
Sew some fruit, vegetable and salad seeds
This is one of our Summer Holiday Challenges. Get some seeds that are suitable for sowing in the summer months and are easy to grow such as carrots, salad leaves, cucumbers, peas or pumpkins (which if sown May/June will be ready for Halloween). Let the kids prepare the ground, sow them, label them and care for them. Then look forward to harvest time! I find children are usually more open to eating/trying things they’ve grown themselves.
Last year we also planted some potatoes.
An oldie, but a goodie. Remove the top of the eggs, leaving two-thirds intact. Wash the shells and carefully dry. Then decorate with felt tip pens. The usual is to draw a face to accompany the cress ‘hair’, but let imagination roam free! Next dampen some cotton wool balls in water and place one in each shell and then sprinkle some cress seeds on top. Put them in a sunny spot and in about 5-7 days it’ll be ready to harvest. Egg and cress sandwich anyone?
Encouraging wildlife into your garden
Plants provide food and shelter for wildlife. We’ve already scattered some wild flower seeds this year and did some Beebombs last year, which attract butterflies, bees and other insects.
Flowering plants such as lavender, foxgloves and roses provide plenty of nectar. Birds love the humble daisy, and sunflowers are a big hit as we discovered last year (more about those below).
You could also add a Ladybird tower to attract this cheerful spotty bug to your garden as well as the other beneficial insects, which keep pesky aphids and greenfly at bay.
Grow sunflowers from seed
Who doesn’t love this cheery, bold and bright flower. They’re incredibly easy to grow and shoot up quickly. Now is the perfect time to sow seeds outdoors for blooms from June through to September. We’ve just planted a couple of seeds sent by the school for the PTA sunflower competition. They provided a soil coin, the seed and a biodegradable pot. These can be started indoors and then the pot can be planted directly into the ground outside when the sunflower is a particular height.
Squire’s also has a ‘tallest sunflower’ competition for children. Simply take a photo of your child next to their sunflower between 1-20 August 2021 for a chance to win £100. Details here: www.squiresgardencentres.co.uk
Make a miniature terrarium – mini garden in a jar
We’ve not done this before, but look forward to giving it a go. It’s more ornamental than big gardening project but looks cute and fun.
- Use a clean glass jar such as a jam jar
- Add a layer of decorative stones and sand
- Top with soil
- Add moss on top that will act as grass
- Plant miniature plants or cuttings into your jar
- Get creative; add a small decorated rock or Lego characters, plastic figurines or animals
Creating a fairy garden, which involved sowing flower seeds, was also a hit in our household.
Happy gardening and please post any of your children’s’ gardening ideas or projects in the comments section below.