Gardening in Autumn for kids
With Easter and school holidays coming soon, here are some gardening ideas to do with your children this autumn. March is the perfect month to plant lettuces in the veggie garden, feijoa bambina fruit trees and pansies, violas and cyclamen flowers in the garden in Auckland with kids. Here are our tips to help get your kids interested in gardening this Autumn.
Autumn vegetables to plant with kids
You can plant lettuce plants either directly out in the garden or in a large pot, with your children. You are best not to plant seeds at this time of the year as children will find that they take too long to germinate. Choose a type of lettuce that you can just break off the outer leaves so that the kids can go and pick a few leaves each day and they don’t need to wait until it has completely grown. There are many varieties to choose from, but one of our favourites is the “Green Oak Leaf” variety that lasts for several weeks. Also, you may need to cover the lettuces with netting to stop the birds from eating the lettuces before the kids do.
If you don’t like lettuce, you can also plant carrots, cabbage, beetroot and spinach plant seedlings in March ready for winter.
Herbs to plant in Autumn
It’s a good time to plant rosemary, mint, chives and parsley for your herb garden in early Autumn. Kids will enjoy going to pick the herbs for you when you are cooking dinner.
Flowers to grow in Autumn with kids
Pansies and violas (which are like pansies but they have a smaller flower) have cheerful smiling faces on them. Children love going to garden centres and picking out there own colours and faces on these plants. You can either grow them in the garden or in flower pots. They are easy to grow and you can teach your kids to cut of the dead flowers so that the plants will flower for longer.
Cyclamens come in two sizes, either with large flowers or miniature ones. When your children are choosing the cyclamens at the garden centre you can teach them not to choose the one with the most flowers on them, but to look below the leaves and see that there are lots of little white buds which in time will grow into flowers. Cyclamens like cold weather and will happily grow outdoors in the garden or in flower pots. Or if you prefer to keep them indoors they can grow inside too. If you cut off the dead flowers then the cyclamen plant will flower for longer and last until the end of winter.
You can also plant other winter flower seedlings such as poppies, stock and snapdragons.
Feijoa Bambinas are a smaller variety of Feijoa that have lots of bright red Christmas flowers. The Feijoa Bambina have edible skin with sweet pulp which make them perfect for the kids lunch boxes as they are small and packed with Vitamin C, plus there is no need for a spoon. These plants are dwarf growing and will reach 1.5 meters, so they suit either being in a large container or outside in the garden. Kids will enjoy picking the small feijoas in April and May to put in their lunch boxes for kindy or school.
If you don’t like feijoas then you could try to plant citrus trees such as mandarins or oranges instead.