Growing fun

Spending time growing things together in the garden is a great way to connect with your child, writes KINETA BOOKER.

The day I gave my son his first pair of gardening gloves will stay with me always. His little pair of blue ones were sitting together with my new pair of red ones on the table, and when he realised the blue ones were his — a look of pure excitement and overwhelming emotion spread over his face. He had just turned two, and he knew he was ready.

Growing plants and helping in the garden is something Austen is naturally drawn to. His grandparents, on both sides, have large sections with well-maintained gardens where he loves to play and spend time, and — although ours is smaller — we have a few raised beds and do a lot of container planting, which still makes a great gardening experience. Austen’s been heading out to the strawberry patch by himself since he learnt to walk, and has been picking peas for just as long.

It’s the thrill of watching the seeds he’s planted burst up through the soil, or sitting in the trolley at the garden centre declaring “I’d like to grow blueberries this season” that has made our shared love of growing things thrilling and a great laugh at the same time.

Teaching your children how to grow fruit and vegetables is valuable knowledge to pass on, and it’s easy to do.

Ideas to get your kids in the garden

  • Grow things they want to eat (strawberries and peas are a great start!)
  • Show them how to plant seeds.
  • Teach them how to water plants.
  • Give them an area in the garden to care for.
  • Children like to do what other people are doing — so if you’re gardening, they’ll help, too!

What to plant
As a general rule — any seedlings that are in store can be planted at that time of year.