Thursday, 30 September 2010

Gardening Helps to Grow your Children.

Get gardening with your children and give them skills they will use for the rest of their lives. All of us committed to children’s gardening know that it helps to promote a healthy and active life style. New research by the Royal Horticultural Society shows that it can also improve confidence, resilience and self-esteem. The report concentrated on Gardening in Schools.  However much of its findings can also translate into gardening at home with your kids.

Here are a few detailed findings of the report pertinent to gardening in most settings.

  1. Tasks such as planting seedlings and tying plants to canes can help to develop children’s fine motor skills.
  2. The changeable nature of gardening projects and uncertainty e.g. weather and plant disease forced children to become more flexible and think on their feet.
  3. Waiting for crops to grow taught the value of patience.
  4. Public praise for a school garden generated a sense of pride.
  5. A calm outdoor space helped to improve children’s concentration.
  6. Gardening helped children to take responsibility for their own physical health and diet. Children who grew their own crops displayed a greater willingness to eat new vegetables.
What better reasons are there for you and your children to get gardening.  Don’t leave it all to the school.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

How Did Your Vegetables Grow

September 2010

April 2010

I posted back in February about the new vegetable plot in the garden and you’ll see from the photo that it is now full of vegetables and vegetation. We have had great success in growing tomatoes, courgettes, strawberries and beans and are currently harvesting daily. The tomatoes have been prolific. We have not been so lucky with the carrots, onions and garlic.

Lessons learnt include
  1. Use a type of courgette which has smaller leaves and therefore uses up less space on a small plot.
  2. Provide stronger staking for the tomatoes.
  3. Plant more beans because they are so yummy and help us avoid using the beans flown in from Kenya. 
  4. Plant strawberries in pots and hanging baskets next year to prevent slug damage.

My son has got his hands dirty in every sense. He has loved watering, picking and eating the veg. If we were away for a couple of days in the summer holidays his (and my) first action was to run down the bottom of the garden to check out the activity in the vegetable plot

I am going to sow some Kale – ‘Nero di Toscana’ and some winter salad in the next couple of days and then start doing a good search of the seed catalogues. Can’t wait for next year.

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