Garden with the children this Easter
Are you wondering what to do with the children this Easter? The weather might not be great, but you can still encourage them into the garden. There are many quick projects to encourage and educate and here are some of our hints -
Digging - get them digging in the garden. They could use a border spade (narrower than the traditional spade), or they may be lucky enough to have their own, child's size spade. Find worms and other bugs in the garden - the birds will love them for it! A trowel and fork of their own would encourage digging too.
Runner beans - these grow quickly and are great fun in the garden. They can be started indoors if the weather is poor, and it might just encourage them to eat beans! Buy seeds, or packs of beans. If you are using seeds, why not try planting some on damp cotton wool or kitchen roll in a clear plastic container. Leave on the windowsill and watch the magic. Normally, plant seeds in a seedtray and keep damp and warm until they are approx 2" high, when they can be planted out. Your 'magic' bean can also be planted out at this stage. If you have plants already - plant them approx 4" apart in a circle. Use canes to make a 'wigwam' around the seeds - tying the canes at the top (keeping pointy ends away from eyes). As the beans grow up the canes, a wigwam is formed - great for summer games, better than a tent and with a bonus crop of beans. They require little work - just keep watered.
Sunflowers - plant now in a sunny spot in the house, in a pot with multipurpose compost. When they are approx. 30cm tall they can be planted in the garden. Who can grow the tallest, biggest, smallest!, prettiest? There are many varieties to choose from, but we recommend the tallest you can find! Beware - slugs like young sunflowers, so protect them with slug pellets when you first plant them out.
Radish - these seeds grow really quickly and can be planted directly into a small patch in the garden at any time. If you want fast results then these are your seeds - children will see results within days. You may even encourage them to eat something a bit different.
Bug Shelter - build your own from old bits of wood, bricks, old canes, straw - whatever may be lurking in the garden. Put it in a quiet part of the garden and see what bugs come to visit. A variety of materials is best to attract a wider range of bugs.
Tomatoes - grow your own tasty treats. They can be put in pots, hanging baskets, grow bags or straight into a sunny spot in the garden. Support them with canes, nip out side shoots as they appear. Feed with tomorite and water regularly and you will have a bumper crop.
Courgette and pumpkin - plant from seeds or buy small plants. If you are really clever, you can scratch your name on the 'fruit' while it is small. Your name will grow along the the plant, so later in the season you will have your own personalised vegetables!
We hope that some of these ideas might inspire you and the children into the garden! Enjoy Easter.