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Children can learn so much from gardening. By growing their own flowers, herbs and veggies, they may be more inclined to eat what they grow themselves. And you don’t need to spend a lot of money to set up a garden.

Use old pots or containers to grow your seeds, or put them straight into the ground. Alternatively, use an old wheelbarrow or other rustic items to create a flower or herb garden with a difference. Here are five easy gardening projects your child will love.

Some items you may need

  • Fun children’s gardening equipment (small watering can, fork and spade).
  • Seeds and trays, pots or other old containers, with holes, to put them in.
  • Seedlings work for children who don’t have a lot of patience.

1. Flower patch

  • Choose colourful, hardy flowers that are easy to grow, like petunias, marigolds or sunflowers. Marigolds also work well with herbs to keep pests out.
  • Plant them in a small patch of garden or in a window box or pot.
  • Make sure they will get enough sun.
  • Water frequently and watch them grow.

2. Herb box

  • Use an old wooden box or planter, or see if your nursery has a ready-made herb box.
  • Plant a variety of herbs that are tasty and easy to grow, such as basil, chives or rosemary. Also consider what you’ll use for cooking, such as basil on pizza.
  • Make sure the herbs get enough sun and water.
  • Get your children to collect the herbs when you cook.

3. Leafy goodness

  • Spinach and lettuce are easy to grow and can be planted in a bed or individually in pots.
  • For some of these veggies, you can pick a few leaves at a time, leaving the plant to keep on growing.
  • Children who grow their own spinach may also be more inclined to eat it.

4. Teepea

  • Beans, peas and other climbers are easy to grow and fun to watch, and your children can eat them straight off the vine.
  • Build a frame from some straight sticks or dowel rods.
  • Plant seeds at the bottom of each stick and water them.
  • As the vines grow, encourage the plants to climb the frame.

5. Tinned tomatoes

  • Tomatoes come in a wide variety and are easy to grow. Try growing cherry tomatoes to put in lunchboxes or salads.
  • Plant your tomatoes in an old tin or pot.
  • Give them plenty of sun and water.

Did you know?

National Garden Day falls in October each year? It’s a day for people across South Africa to celebrate their green spaces – no matter how big or small.

Tamlyn Vincent