01 Aug Project Gardening: Fun for Kids!
As the weather starts to warm up in Spring, we look at some ideas to keep kids away from their digital devices!
Gardening gives children a sense of responsibility and accomplishment and makes learning about the environment and the connection between plants and people fun. By encouraging kids’ curiosity at a young age, you can help them to develop a love of the outdoors, the environment, fresh food and gardening. It’s also a great way to spend time together as a family.
Start your kid’s interest in gardening with some fun gardening gear such as colourful gloves, tools and a watering can. Then let your kids get involved in the decision making including what to plant and where to plant to help them feel invested from the outset.
When it’s time to get stuck in it’s easy to get them involved. Kids are fascinated by looking for worms and bugs and they love to water just about anything or anyone in the garden. Planting herb and veggie seeds allow children to better understand where our fresh food comes from in an engaging activity. They get to watch these tiny seeds grow as they water them and the excitement as they harvest the fruits of their labour is quite contagious. Carrots are a great vegetable to start them off, as they are easy to grow, look good and taste great.
Activity: growing carrots from seed
- Choose a pot with good drainage and fill it with quality potting mix or seed raising mix. As carrot seeds are very small it is a good idea to mix them in a jar with sand and sprinkle evenly across the surface of the soil.
- Once the seeds have been sown, give them a good water with a watering can and keep the soil moist but not wet. Use some liquid fertiliser but don’t over fertilise as this can cause the carrots to split as they develop.
- When the seedlings appear, thin them out so they are about 2cm apart. The seedlings you remove can be planted in another pot to increase the number of carrots your kids can pluck.
- After 3-4 months the carrots will be ready to harvest. Pull one out first to check they’re ready and then can be pulled out as needed – it’s fine to leave them in the ground until carrots are on the menu!
Other fun projects to try
- Worm farms
- Planting bulbs
- Mushroom kits
- Ant farms
- Growing a herb garden in a pot
- Growing seeds
- Pressing flowers
Words: Octavia Hammer at Flower Power (Sydney)
General information about carrots:
- Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 8°C and 30°C
- Space plants: 5 – 30 cm apart
- Harvest in 12-18 weeks.
- Compatible with (can grow beside): Onions, Leeks, Lettuce, Sage, Peas, Radishes, Tomatoes, Beans, Celery, Rosemary
- Avoid growing close to Parsnips, Beetroot, Dill, Brassicas, Fennel
General edible vegetable info: