How much time do you spend wrangling with your kids to make sure they get their five a day? Getting kids in the garden from a young age can help them appreciate what’s on their plate and let them see how gardening, vegetables and cooking combined can create delicious meals.
Vegecation Melbourne shares tips on how to grow your own veggie garden. Where possible, get the kids to help to make this an experience you can share as a family.
Stake your claim: first things first, pick the spot for your veggie plot. It needs to go in an area that gets a lot of sun, in a place where your veggies won’t have to compete with the roots of trees and shrubs for nutrients.
Know your limits: don’t overstretch yourself; make sure the patch is small enough so you – and little hands – can reach everything that’s growing.
Prepare the ground: mark out the area and dig the soil over to the depth of about four inches. Add compost, decomposing leaves and fertiliser to make the soil nice and healthy and rich.
Get planting: choose your plants wisely – if you know your children like a particular kind of vegetable, make sure you include it on the garden menu. Follow the instructions on the back of the seed packet or given with the seedling; each plant needs different care.
Water well: your plants will need a lot of water over the first few weeks, and after that, establish a schedule of giving your seedlings a deep soak twice weekly to save water where you can.
Don’t let space be an issue: if you don’t have an outside space, create a green area inside: grow things like rocket and cress which can be grown on any surface indoors.
Vegecation is an educational program organised by Centro Box Hill that encourages children to get outside and learn what happens in the veggie patch. Vegecation Autumn will have an Oriental Garden theme where children can plant Asian vegetable seedlings to take home – bok choy, Asian red bunching onion, mild chilli and coriander.
What: Vegecation – a fun and engaging community school holiday activity
Where: Centro Box Hill North Precinct (opposite the food court)
When: Tuesday 10 – Saturday 14 April 2012
What time: 11am to 2pm each day, interactive play times: 11.30am and 1pm
Who: Aimed at children aged six – 15 and their families
Price: FREE to attend
Extras: Every child receives a FREE apron and book bag