Whilst Kiwis will remember 2020 for the year we banded together against COVID-19, many of us are also finding solace in our gardens, or in fact are embracing gardening for the first time. And of course, we’re also trying to get our kids out there in the garden with us!
So the team at Yates (many of whom have gardened with their own kids for years) have pulled together some top tips for successfully getting your children out of their bedrooms, off their devices, and outside enjoying the great (or small) outdoors.
Grow plants your kids want to grow …
Very closely followed by … grow fruit or veggies that your kids want to eat! This applies to grown ups too, but if you start with brussels sprouts your chances of successfully growing a future gardener are slim. Here’s our list of popular “kid-friendly edible plants”:
- Carrots – baby, purple, or a Kiwi favourite such as Yates Manchester Table Carrots are reliably a hit with kids.
- Peas – so easy to grow and so delicious to eat straight from the garden. Try Snow Peas where you can eat the shell and all.
- Corn – kids love it when the stalks grow taller than their heads. To grow corn you will need a bit of space in a sunny veggie patch. For an interesting twist on yellow corn, you could try Yates Pop Star! Strawberry Popcorn. This is a really special, old-fashioned type of corn, that grows cute little cobs shaped like ruby-red strawberries. You can sow these seeds in your garden, and wait for corn cob ears to grow on the stalks. Then harvest the corn cobs and let them dry out. When they’re dry, you can make your own yummy popcorn.
- Potatoes – harvesting them is like a treasure hunt. Plant in a container, so kids can dump it out and really dig in to find the potatoes.
- Cherry tomatoes – sweet bite-sized tomatoes that kids will love to eat! Compact varieties are perfect for pots and can be ready to pick in as little as 10 weeks.
You don’t need a big garden, to garden
Many kids enjoy starting off with pots. Our top plants for pots include:
- Cucumbers (you can train them up bamboo stakes)
- Dwarf beans
- Bite-sized tomatoes
- Tasty red capsicums, such as Yates Capsicum Corno di Toro (sweet red horn shaped)
Don’t forget flowers
Flower can brighten your day, but also they attract beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies which gives your kids a chance to learn all about why we need them in our garden to help pollinate our veggies and fruit.
Try these popular kid-friendly flowers:
- Yates Magical Creatures Fairy Flower Mix – find a special place in the garden to sprinkle these seeds like fairy dust, and you’ll be rewarded with magenta, rose, violet and lilac hues with blooms through most of the year. Check out the video below for extra inspiration on creating your very own fairy garden.
- Sunflowers – go for the traditional or look for something a bit different such as Yates Little Ted Fluffy Sunflowers (a bushy, short-growing sunflower with super fluffy pom pom flowers). Or if you prefer your sunflowers TALL, then try out Yates Ginormous Flowerzilla. The FlowerZilla hybrid is absolutely gigantic and can grow up to 5m tall – but is a very hungry feeder, so make sure to fertilise heavily.
- Zinnias – vibrantly coloured flowers that make a lovely posy. All you need is a sunny spot out in the garden, scatter the seed and mix gently into the soil.
Inspire the kids (young and old!) with this awesome fairy garden activity.
For more info on all six of the new Yates Kids seeds, visit Yates.co.nz/products/seeds/fun-for-kids
For more inspiration on projects, word finds, games & experiments check out the kids gardening section of the Yates website.
Article provided by Yates
What’s your child’s favourite gardening activity?