Thinking of starting a vegetable garden? It’s a great way to have educational fun outdoors with your kids!
Children love getting their hands dirty in the great outdoors. Working together on creating a vegetable patch is one of the best experiences you can have with your children, and it will mean you all reap the rewards of clean, healthy free food free of charge. It will also demonstrate to your children where food really comes from, and that nature is the one that provides our sustenance, not a supermarket chain.
Involving your children in growing a garden will teach them responsibility, self-confidence in their own abilities, cooperation and the importance of good nutrition. Use these pointers to get started with plants that are relatively easy to grow.
Designing Your Garden
Firstly, talk to your child about what they want to grow. Children are notorious for not wanting to eat their vegetables, but involving them in all aspects of growing their own vegetables will encourage them to enjoy eating them as a reward for all their hard work. Take your children to a nursery and make collaborative decisions on what plants you all want to grow. You can make a garden bed, or a series of various shaped pots, you don’t have to stick to the basic square edged garden.
Find some prime real estate for your garden bed that will encourage your plants to grow. Find a sunny spot that also gets shade for a decent part of the day. Use your balcony, or courtyard, or position the garden as close to the house as possible so that the garden is always under your watchful eye. Making the garden a part of your home, and not just a patch of dirt in the far corner of the yard, will encourage both you and your children to take more interest in it and care for it.
You need to make sure your plants are getting ample water, regularly. Your children might enjoy using a watering can, just make sure they don’t drown the young plants! Alternatively, you can try using a well designed and installed watering system that can help you keep your plants and lawn fresh, green and happy. These days, there’s a vast range of affordable home watering systems, so have a look into irrigation supplies in Sydney.
Some plants are easier to grow than others, so do yourself a favour and start with some of the easier options to boost your children’s confidence in their ability to grow things and to make it easier on all of you. Some great vegetables to start with include peas, beets, carrots, radishes and cabbage. Also, try your hand at some herbs; mint, coriander and basil generally grow well without too much fuss.
While one of the best measures to control pests from ruining your crops is to keep a regular eye on your vegetable patch and see if you have some unwanted guests rolling in. There are also a variety of other measures you can take, such as hanging yellow sticky traps throughout the veggie patch to attract and catch fruit flies and other airborne assailants. Placing some old pantyhose over your tomato vine can keep away fruit flies (and give them a unique style).
A great job to give your children control over is creating little signs to stick into you patch so you remember where you planted what and don’t have to play guessing games when they start to grow. Let your children get creative and make weather durable sign posts declaring what vegetable, fruit or herb has been planted where.
The most important thing to remember when making your veggie patch is to have fun! Join in with your children and get your hands dirty. Then enjoy making some beautiful meals with home grown and cooked vegetables!