Get gar­den­ing with the kids these school hol­i­days

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

With school hol­i­days nearly here and the weather im­prov­ing, en­cour­age the kids out­doors this spring with a few gar­den­ing ac­tiv­i­ties at home.

Gar­den­ing will teach them sim­ple maths and science and pro­mote their cre­ativ­ity, as well as be­ing a place for them to re­lax and en­joy the out­door en­vi­ron­ment.

Whether you have a large gar­den area or sim­ply a court­yard with pots, there’s still plenty of ac­tiv­i­ties you can get un­der way with your child.

Plant out a veg­etable gar­den

Plant­ing veg­eta­bles is a great way for kids to en­joy the fruits of their labour through the grow­ing months. Check out a gar­den­ing guide or check with your lo­cal nurs­ery which plants are best started off at this time of year. Some plants such as toma­toes and let­tuces can even be grown in pots or planter boxes.

Zucchinis and pump­kins are easy to grow from seed and grow quickly in the warmer weather.

Flower power

Kids will love the vi­brant colours and scents they will get from plant­ing out their own flow­ers. Try plant­ing some colour­ful sun­flow­ers from seed, or cre­ate a flower bas­ket or pot. Line a flower bas­ket with some hay or sphag­num moss, add pot­ting mix and a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent coloured flow­er­ing an­nu­als.

Cre­ate a rock gar­den

Get your kids in­volved with mak­ing a fun rock gar­den at home. Col­lect some in­ter­est­ing rocks and stones, add some mo­saics (or get the kids to make their own). Add some hardy na­tive plants such as flaxes, kowhais, hebes and pit­tospo­rums. They could even add some driftwood pieces for added ef­fect.

Grow some herbs

Whether you want to cre­ate a ded­i­cated herb gar­den or just grow some from pots, grow­ing herbs is easy and smells di­vine. Grow­ing from seed will take a lit­tle longer for some herbs, but will be very grat­i­fy­ing for chil­dren when they see the re­sults.

Some herbs will even grow easily from cut­tings such as rose­mary, mint or le­mon balm.

There are also plenty of fully grown plants avail­able from gar­den cen­tres, su­per­mar­kets and mar­ket day stalls. Chives, pars­ley, mint, rose­mary and thyme are easy to grow and look af­ter.

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