Planting a seedling
Showing your kids how to grow plants from seedlings is a great way to provoke interest in gardening from an early age as long as you keep it fun, interesting and simple. Taking household objects like egg shells (which will decompose in the garden over time) and turning them into containers will add to the fun and they can be kept indoors for close observation as the plant begins to grow. Choosing seedlings that provide great results in a relatively short period of time are ideal for sustaining interest. Peas and calendulas are great choices as they grow quickly, yielding exciting results and will all be readily available at your local accredited garden centre.
Choosing seedlings with your kids at your local GCA Garden Centre is all part of the fun (Click here to view the details of our member garden centres in each region) Check to see if they will benefit from being planted straight into the ground or if they are better off in a container. Frost tender plants are best planted in a pot so that they can be moved undercover when necessary.
Check whether your seedlings require sun or shade.
Use potting mix for containers or compost if planting straight into the ground, prepare the soil for your seedlings. Getting a little bit muddy at this point can add to the fun and you can teach your kids about the benefit of good, nutrient-rich soil and how it helps your seedlings grow into strong, healthy plants.
Once you have prepared the ground, you are ready to plant your seedling. When handling the seedlings, make sure you explain that this needs to be done very gently so as not to damage the tender growth. Remember to handle the stems delicately so as not to disturb and damage the roots. Gently press down the soil around the seedling to make sure it is firmly rooted.
Give your newly transplanted seedlings a good watering. A gentle spray of water is the best method.. Always make sure the soil remains damp whilst your seedling is establishing itself and starting to grow.
Using interesting pots will keep your children interested whilst the seedlings develop. You can even get them to decorate their own pots to match the plant that will grow inside it.
Plant a variety of seedlings that will grow at different speeds so you can provide successional interest. And remember, it’s all about having fun as a family.