Make your garden child-friendly
Ever heard parents, especially mothers, saying that their children do not want to eat their vegetables? Get them involved in gardening! Once they enjoy the fruits of their labour, they’ll polish off every last scrap on their plates.
Set the example by gardening and invite them to join in the fun. They love all the action involved and will enthusiastically dig, weed and water alongside you. Being outdoors, fiddling in the soil and watching things grow are enjoyed by most children.
When they’re a little older, it’s time to offer them some space of their own - a small area of the garden that will be entirely their responsibility. It does not have to be big, but the feeling of it being theirs will be very exciting! A sunny part of the garden will give the strongest growth and, hence, the best results. They will need some encouragement and guidance, so start them off with crops that are easy such as spinach, radishes, beetroot and bush beans. Advise – without being overbearing – on soil preparation and fertilizer application.
Once older children have their own corner where they may live out their horticultural dreams, suggest a few simple projects. One could be planting potato tubers in a variety of containers such as car tyres or bags. Strawberries popping out from an old pair of gum or hiking boots is a nice creative touch. Vertical planting in white PVC pipes is also getting much attention on the web these days.
• Gardening is a healthy, fun activity for children. They develop new skills and learn about science and nature from growing their own food. They also learn patience while waiting for their seedlings to become food for the family.
• Involve them in a variety of interesting activities such as planting, mulching, weeding, harvesting (that’s the best part!) and cooking.
• Ensure safety first in your garden with suitable equipment, tools, fences, gates and paths for children to use. Their own mini toolkit will be a cherished item to use, keep clean and handy. Maria Nel
Ferreira’s Garden Centre
AgriTurf: Marco de Wet:
Cell: 085 600 9584