Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Guest Post: Your Garden And Your Toddler

Now that spring is finally in the air, and is due to actually hang around this time, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to introduce your toddler and your children to the joys of the garden. Or in other words let them have some fun in the mud, while teaching them about plants and how to sow seeds. It’s good to get your children involved in the garden at an early age, as it is a fun activity for them, teaches them about the world and where those suspicious vegetables actually come from, and could invoke a passion for gardening in them.

Before you can begin, the garden will need a quick tidy up. Head over to your garden sheds, and gather the tools you need. A rake, a spade, a bucket, and a small planting shovel should cover all the chores. While you’re in the shed, be sure to point out to your children which tool does what, and which tools mustn’t be played with or touched.

The grass is likely to need some tender loving care. Remove any rotting leaves, thatch or twigs and keep an eye out for moss or any damaged areas. You and your toddler can remove the moss together by using the rake. Once the moss is all pulled out, sow some grass seeds on the affected area as well as on any other damaged areas. Demonstrate to your toddler how you spread out the grass seed evenly in an area, and then let them have a try.

Depending on the size of your garden, you may have enough space to create a small vegetable garden. Planting your own vegetables can save you money, and help you encourage your children to eat their vegetables as they are part of the growing process. This does depend on the child, and may not help at all, but it’s still a fun activity to do together. Corner off a part of the garden at either 2x3 or 2x1 metres depending on how big you wish your patch to be and then dig out the grass of this area. Use your spade to plough rows in which to plant the seeds. Currently in season for sowing are carrots, lettuce, French climbing beans, cabbage, cauliflower, leek, parsnip, peas, peppers, rhubarb, and even the dreaded spinach. Be sure to leave sufficient space between the seeds, so that they grow evenly, and mark each row, so that you can tend to the individual needs of each vegetable type.

Next up are the flower beds. They will need twigs, rotting leaves and thatch to be removed, and probably a bit of weeding, too. This is, of course, a great opportunity to teach your toddler the difference between a weed and a plant. Place the unwanted weeds in your bucket. This makes clean-up easier.

Purchase some spring flowers, which are in bloom and plant them in the flower beds together. This will include digging a small hole in the bed with the planting shovel or trowel, getting the plant out of its pot, and placing it in the hole. Now, it needs to be covered with soil, gently patted down, and then watered. This is a particularly fun activity, as it includes mud, soil and the permission, nay, the need to get your hands dirty. A team effort is best for this. Have your toddler dig the hole and water the plant. After you’ve demonstrated how to plant the flower a few times, swap roles so that you dig the hole and water the plant. A trip to your local garden centre will give you plenty of choice of spring flowers. Be sure to select an array of colours for your garden, as this gives it an aesthetically pleasing look. Very popular this time of year for their looks and colour are Primroses, Pansies, Marigolds and Petunias.

By following this guide, your garden will look shipshape in no time, and you may have invoked the talents of a landscape gardener in your toddler.


This article was written by Sarah Oxley, gardening enthusiast, on behalf of Tiger Sheds manufacturers of garden and potting sheds.

* Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.

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