This year Max has shown a real interest in what’s happening in our garden and I’m really keen to make the most of that and develop his interest in gardening. I’ve planned out lots of things that we can do together in the garden this spring, bearing in mind that he’s only just 4. But there are a surprising amount of things that a preschooler can help with in the garden…
Growing Potatoes in Bags
We grew potatoes in growing bags a couple of years ago, and even then Max loved when we harvested them and we were able to pull out loads of potatoes. This year he’s helped me to plant up 5 big growing bags of potatoes which we will slowly top up with compost throughout the spring and summer as they grow, ready for harvesting in August. If you’re planting in April, you’ll want to make sure that your potato seeds are second earlies or maincrop varieties.
Sunflowers are the perfect thing for children to grow as they grow so tall and have a really impressive flower to reward their patience! Plant your seeds in containers from mid-April to the end of May, and can be grown in containers or sown directly into the ground. Just leave 10cm between each seed, cover them with soil, and water them gently. If they are crowded as they grow you can just remove the smaller ones to leave you with the strongest, and they’ll need supporting with canes as they grow.
Make A Sweet Pea or Runner Bean Living Teepee
This is one I’d love to try but probably a bit more involved than a lot of the other things on this list, so we’ve not tried it ourselves yet. You can create a beautiful Living Teepee for your children to use as a den throughout spring and summer simply by tying together long bamboo canes and creating a lattice framework with your string. Then plant either sweet peas or runner beans to grow up and create walls of foliage and the perfect hideaway for your children. Both options will grow really quickly, but you will need to wait until the risk of frost has passed until planting. Find a full tutorial here.
Children love being able to pick fruit directly from the garden and strawberries are one of the easiest to grow and perfect if you’re low on space too. You can grow them in a vegetable plot if you have one, but if not, you can buy a strawberry planter or even use a hanging basket, which means they take up very little space.
This one does require some close supervision, but Max has become my little weeding partner and it really is a massive help! I bought him his own little garden tool set which includes gloves, a bucket, fork and trowel, and he loves working his way along the flower beds with me, asking “that a weed?” He’s getting better at spotting them and I’ve not lost too many upcoming perennials yet!
Washing Down the Garden Furniture
Spring is the time when the covers all come off our garden furniture and there’s nothing Max likes more than being given a bucket full of soapy water and a sponge and something to clean.
I’m so looking forward to enjoying the garden with Max this spring – if it ever stops raining that is!