Starting gardening with children

Starting gardening with children

Starting gardening with children can seem daunting. There are so many options for things to grow, fruit, vegetables, flowers and shrubs. Perhaps you are keen to start gardening with your children but have never done much gardening yourself. Knowing when to start growing, what and how can seem a little overwhelming. I haven’t done all that much gardening, as I explained in my post creating a family garden, I explained how the majority of our garden is lawn. I’m keen to teach my children about growing fruit and vegetables, I’d also love to grow lots of flowers and encourage wildlife into our garden but with a young family, part-time job and this blog, I’m building up slowly.

Starting gardening with childrenStarting gardening with childrenStarting gardening with children

Last week I took my eldest who is almost 5 to the garden centre to choose some seeds to grow together. We chose some simple to grow vegetables, sunflowers and some herbs. Once home she helped me to plant up a container with the herbs (we chose rosemary, thyme and oregano as these are ones I use most in my cooking). We also planted some seeds in a propagator which is sat on our kitchen windowsill. We picked up some potatoes too which is a bit more of a gamble. They were reduced to just £1 because it is now time to start planting them but they need chitting first. I decided it was worth the risk so they are in our kitchen window again waiting for the shoots to grow.

Starting gardening with children Starting gardening with children

I will, of course, keep you updated about how all our plants are doing this summer but until then I’ve included my top tips for getting started gardening with children and listed 9 easy to grow plants for kids.

Starting gardening with children

How to get started gardening with children

  1. Buy them some mini tools – you can pick up a child’s garden set cheaply in your local garden centre or even with your weekly shop. Mini tools will be easy for your child to use and help them feel independent.Starting gardening with children
  2. Take them shopping to help choose what to grow – Children love to feel involved in choosing what to grow. It starts getting them excited from the very beginning of the process.
  3. Make some plant markers – I love these DIY wooden spoon vegetable markers that your children can make. Markers will help you remember what you’ve planted where.
  4. Start growing from seed indoors – Some plants need starting off inside. Always read the back of the packet to see what you should start off indoors. For us, we have started basil, tomatoes and courgettes indoors.Starting gardening with children
  5. Transplant the seedlings outdoors or sow direct – once your seedlings are ready to plant outside following the advice on the packet
  6. Water and care for your plants – my kids love using mini watering cans to water the plants.
  7. Harvest and enjoy eating all your edible plants – is there anything better than eating homegrown produce? Who knows you may even get a fussy eater to try something new.

9 Easy to grow plants

  1. Herbs – not only easy to grow but they are a great sensory plant.
  2. Strawberries – we grew some in hanging baskets and my toddler loved picking them and eating them in the garden.Starting gardening with children
  3. Carrot – My kids love eating carrots, they can also be sown directly outside which is a bonus.
  4. Tomatoes – These can be grown in grow bags or even hanging baskets.
  5. Salad leaves – Salad leaves can be grown in just a few short weeks. This is perfect for young children who aren’t known for their patience. I have even grown pea shoots from dried peas bought in the supermarket.
  6. Potatoes – simple to grow and can be grown in containers.
  7. Sunflowers – who can grow the tallest sunflower? and just how tall will it be?Starting gardening with children
  8. Beetroot – another plant that can be sown directly outside.
  9. Cress – really quick to grow and can be grown on a windowsill.

What next?

There are so many options to build on this experience. Perhaps you could start making compost? encourage birds into your garden? or insects? start a garden journal and help your child watch and learn about the plants as they grow.

Here are a couple of articles that you might find useful:

Gardening with kids – from CBeebies

How to get kids gardening from The Guardian is packed full of expert tips.

Getting children interested in gardening from Royal Horticultural society.

Pin for later:Starting gardening with kids

More posts you might like:

30 spring activities for kids

The Children's garden book review

The children’s garden book review

Hot Pink Wellingtons

Country Kids

54 Comments

  1. April 10, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Great tips and ideas- I will be using this!

    • Claire
      Author
      April 10, 2018 / 7:36 pm

      I’m glad it was useful.

  2. April 10, 2018 / 9:48 am

    Some great tips! I really REALLY want to get my children involved in the garden this year as i think its such a great hands on learning tool!

    • Claire
      Author
      April 10, 2018 / 7:33 pm

      It’s fantastic for hands on learning.

  3. April 10, 2018 / 10:09 am

    I love growing with my girls, the slugs love it too… I really recommend growing peas because you get to see shoots really quickly and you can eat the shoots too and don’t have to wait for the pea pods.

    • Claire
      Author
      April 10, 2018 / 7:32 pm

      Great tips. I think we will try peas again.

  4. April 10, 2018 / 2:14 pm

    Ah these are fantastic tips! My kids love gardening because their dad is very green fingered x

    • Claire
      Author
      April 10, 2018 / 7:29 pm

      That’s fantastic.

    • Claire
      Author
      April 10, 2018 / 7:29 pm

      That’s so lovely. I hope mine will be the same as they get older.

  5. April 10, 2018 / 7:47 pm

    We have had so much fun planting things already this year, and my daughter loves to check on everything each day to see if it has grown. I just can’t wait until the weather is a bit warmer so we can move more of the plants outside!

    • Claire
      Author
      April 13, 2018 / 8:57 pm

      It’s lovely to see little ones so excited about watching plants grow.

  6. April 11, 2018 / 6:55 pm

    Some amazing tips here – I’d love to get my little one started in a few years time, an amazing way to get outside!!

    • Claire
      Author
      April 13, 2018 / 8:58 pm

      Thank you. I’m sure your little one will enjoy it.

  7. April 11, 2018 / 10:33 pm

    Some great advice here. I really want to get Noah involved when we eventually get cracking on our garden this year.

    • Claire
      Author
      April 13, 2018 / 8:58 pm

      Fantastic. Good luck with your garden plans.

  8. April 12, 2018 / 7:28 am

    Hi Claire,
    I’m in the process of writing a very similar post! This is great! I think all children should be able to try gardening at school but it rarely happens which is such a shame. I have linked a post about the benefit of gardening in a child’s sensory development so we are all obviously craving spring time! Thanks for hosting. #bloggerpinparty

    • Claire
      Author
      April 13, 2018 / 8:59 pm

      I look forward to reading your posts. I agree it is a shame more schools don’t include gardening.

  9. April 12, 2018 / 8:09 am

    This is on my to do list! The weather has been so horrible this year we have spent zero time in the garden. Fingers crossed it will improve so I can get Freddie to help me 🙂

    • Claire
      Author
      April 13, 2018 / 9:00 pm

      It’s meant to be nice this next week.

  10. April 12, 2018 / 2:33 pm

    I can’t wait to do this with my little one! Right now we have rock landscape and it’s rattlesnake season, so we’re avoiding potted plants or beds for a while, but one my husband puts in our grass, we’ll be out there playing and making a mess!
    My mom and I planted strawberries and tomatoes all the time when I was young and I adored bringing in my “crops” and sharing them for lunch or dinner!
    #bloggerpinparty

    • Claire
      Author
      April 13, 2018 / 9:01 pm

      Sounds lovely (except the snakes!). It’s lovely to eat the products you’ve worked hard to grow.

    • Claire
      Author
      April 13, 2018 / 9:02 pm

      Thank you.

  11. April 13, 2018 / 6:43 am

    I need to get my 2 year old into gardening I think she will love it! Pinned for later 🙂

    • Claire
      Author
      April 13, 2018 / 9:03 pm

      I’m sure she will.

    • Claire
      Author
      April 13, 2018 / 9:04 pm

      Thank you so much for nominating me.

  12. April 13, 2018 / 8:20 am

    This looks like so much fun! We are moving house to a place with a nice garden soon, so I can’t wait to learn a bit of gardening and maybe eventually teach Violet when she’s old enough too! Hope you grow some lovely plants over the summer 🙂

    • Claire
      Author
      April 13, 2018 / 9:04 pm

      Fingers crossed. I hope you are happy in your new house and garden.

  13. April 13, 2018 / 11:26 am

    Great ideas here- we have been growing some bits and bobs, mostly on the windowsill until the weather perks up- it is great fun! #bloggerpinparty

    • Claire
      Author
      April 13, 2018 / 9:05 pm

      Our kitchen windowsill is full!

  14. April 14, 2018 / 12:26 pm

    Looks like your little one is enjoying gardening. Our seven-year-old also likes to potter around in the garden with her dad. It’s never early to start them, isn’t it? 🙂 #countrykids

    • claire
      Author
      April 23, 2018 / 9:10 pm

      Never too early!

  15. April 14, 2018 / 1:40 pm

    Such a lovely post! We have tried many of these over the years and I have to confess to not being the best but my kids have always enjoyed the experience. Strawberries I think were the favourite, though being patient to let them ripen was always an issue! I hope your garden flourishes this summer.

    thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

    • claire
      Author
      April 23, 2018 / 9:11 pm

      We have mixed success too. Hopefully this year!

  16. April 14, 2018 / 7:08 pm

    I love gardening and I love that my 4 year old is suddenly really interested. So far this year we’ve planted potatoes, and we’ll be planting up sunflowers, dahlias, and growing strawberries. We had great success last year with beetroot and if I can clear our raised bed in time I’d like to try that again. It’s such a great idea to get them their own tools, they really do love having them and it makes all the difference. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • claire
      Author
      April 23, 2018 / 9:12 pm

      I want to get a raised bed too. I love dahlias but I’ve never tried to grow them.

  17. April 15, 2018 / 4:54 pm

    This is a great idea. I love the photos too! I think I am going to get the kiddies to do this over the next few weeks. 🙂

    Popping over from #CountryKids x

    • Claire
      Author
      April 17, 2018 / 1:03 pm

      I hope they enjoy it too.

  18. April 15, 2018 / 8:07 pm

    I let my daughter pick some seeds and have her own little pots. That way she’s kept amused while we sort the bigger garden things out #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Claire
      Author
      April 17, 2018 / 1:03 pm

      That’s a great idea.

  19. April 17, 2018 / 8:52 am

    My eldest daughter loves to do gardening with me. A couple of weeks ago we planted our annual sunflowers. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Claire
      Author
      April 17, 2018 / 1:01 pm

      I hope your sunflowers grow really tall.

  20. April 17, 2018 / 5:50 pm

    This is a wonderful introduction to gardening with children. I think I need to try and locate where my daughters gardening set is now. #SharingtheBlogLove

    • claire
      Author
      April 23, 2018 / 9:13 pm

      Good luck!

  21. April 17, 2018 / 6:29 pm

    My children loved gardening when they were little especially things that you can eat or grow quickly! A lovely family activity to do now spring is here. #CountryKids

    • claire
      Author
      April 23, 2018 / 9:13 pm

      I couldn’t agree more.

  22. April 19, 2018 / 5:37 pm

    Great tips, my girls like to get out in the garden with me. They love seeing the plants flowering and growing and that they have played a part in it

    • claire
      Author
      April 23, 2018 / 9:14 pm

      Seeing the results is the best bit for kids.

  23. April 22, 2018 / 4:03 pm

    We won a mud and bloom box recently which was really good – we’re growing some peas and some flowers – the name of which escapes me! I’m terrible at gardening so it was nice to just be given all the kit and crack on with it.

    And congratulations, someone loved this post so much, they added it to the #BlogCrush linky! Feel free to collect your ‘I’ve been featured’ blog badge 🙂

    • claire
      Author
      April 23, 2018 / 9:15 pm

      We loved our mud and bloom boxes. How lovely that someone nominated my post.

  24. I’m trying to get Penguin involved in a bit of gardening now that we’ve got a garden again. Some really nice suggestions here 😀👍x #bloggerpinparty

  25. May 1, 2018 / 10:02 pm

    Thanks for the list of easy to grow veggies, very helpful! Need to get the kids more involved as well.

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