As we are all well aware, the past few months have certainly thrown a spanner in the works when it comes to our extracurricular activities.
Families have been forced to spend time together and work on ways to fill in the time at home. For children this has been a time of uncertainty and confusion, not understanding why they could not see their friends etc.
Many families have come up with inventive ways of filling the hours of the day.
Grow an edible garden
Some people have been unable to do their normal grocery shopping and have started up their own edible gardens. Why not include the kids in this? Give them a space where they can get their hands dirty, plant some seeds or seedlings and watch their food grow. Even in the smallest of suburban lots there is space for a small garden, even if it’s a planter pot under your Alfresco or Patio area.
Garden a veggie patch
Playing in the dirt was certainly one of the many highlights of a child’s day years ago. The squishier and mushier the better! We all did this as kids and remember it with such fondness. Today’s kids don’t often get to experience this, so why not start now?
Get outdoors with them and plant a veggie patch. This is a perfect place to start getting them excited about gardening and they have something to look forward to once the plants have grown.
Need more tips on what to do? Here are 10 Cool Things to Do Around Your Home This Spring
So that the kids are more invested, give them a space that is theirs to look after and let them decide (within reason) what they would like to grow. Make sure that if you use a planter box that it is not too high for the child. They need to be able to reach inside to be able to dig up the dirt and plant the seeds and then of course, harvest the produce once grown.
Pick a planter box
There are so many child friendly planter boxes at hardware stores to choose from. They come in all sorts of bright colour and different materials. Get your child involved in this choice as well and they will take more ownership of looking after it. If your budget does not allow for the more elaborate boxes, a cheaper one can be spruced up with a bit of paint or getting them to paint their names on the side.
Once this most important decision is made, fill it up with bags of good quality garden soil and you are ready to commence the planting. Here are some tips:
- Start with some of the easier plants to grow so that your child does not become impatient or upset when something does not grow,
- Pea seeds are large and easy for those small fingers to handle. They grow quickly and can be eaten directly from the plant.
- Lettuce is another easy to grow vegetable and can be grown in pots or boxes.
- For more fragrant plants, why not try planting seedlings of Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme. When touched these herbs give of an amazing smell. Just imagine these beautiful aromas drifting through your outdoor living area and into your home.
Time to water
Once your plants are in, they need to be watered. This can sometimes be a struggle for the kids as they forget. Make it fun and engaging for them. Get them their very own watering can or if you are brave, give them the hose. Try and get them into a regular watering schedule and in time this will become habit. Once they start to see growth, they will be out there all the time wanting to water. Be aware of this so that they don’t drown the plants. If you are unsure and want to make sure that the plants get watered daily, a small irrigation system can be easily installed.
Uninvited guests and pests
Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad. As your plants grow and flourish, they will also attract hungry uninvited guests. Pest attacks can be good for your kids though. You can make a game out of them by going on a daily pest hunt. Night times are the best time to find these destructive critters. Give the kids a torch and make it fun.
There are numerous ways (non chemical) that your kids can get rid of these bugs. They can just pick them off and relocate elsewhere or blast them with some water. A fun way of getting rid of bugs is to introduce more bugs. Lady bugs will feed on smaller bugs as they are very predatory.
Another nuisance that may be encountered with having an area that is being watered daily are mosquitoes. These insects breed in stagnant water and don’t need a lot of it to do so. This may disrupt the enjoyment of being outside enjoying your outdoor area.
Watch our video for tips on How To Stop Mosquitos And Midges.
A screened in patio or alfresco area will eliminate this problem and make the area so much more enjoyable for your family. View our screen selection or phone us today on 1300 137 081 to talk to our expert about how you can prepare your home for mozzies.
Request a FREE quote today and let your kids get down and dirty and reap the rewards of a garden that they have created.