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Growing Veg with a Pre-Schooler

June 2nd, 2014 | Posted by Boggle in Twigz

None of the peas I grew last year made it to the kitchen. My daughter discovered the joy of eating them straight from the pod and polished off most of the harvest.

This year she’s growing her own.

don't fret if they get carried away with sowing, you can thin out later

We started the first batch in a Twigz mini greenhouse back in March. They germinated nice and quickly with the extra warmth of the greenhouse lid. Thanks to the biodegradable pots the young plants were easy for little hands to transplant too. Now they’re flowering and a few flat pods are starting to appear.

let them plant things they like to eat, like strawberries

She’s also growing carrots, sweetcorn and strawberries (her choice). And spinach, lettuce and herbs (my choice). The idea was that it might persuade her to eat more leafy stuff and ‘green bits’. It’s working. On Sunday she asked me for a lettuce sandwich for lunch. I followed her whim and she ate the lot. Perhaps we’ll try a parsley sauce next.

Here are some things to think about if you’re growing fruit and veg with a little-one:

  • Try to grow stuff they like to eat, it makes the whole process much more fun
  • Mix it up with a few things you wish they’d eat more of – growing their own might persuade them to have a nibble
  • Give them a growing space to call their own: a sunny corner of the garden for a mini veg-plot is great, but my daughter loves growing things in pots and containers (Tom Thumb dwarf peas and Paris Market round carrots are good varieties to try)
  • Choose a few speedy growers to keep ‘em keen: carrots, radish, salad leaves and beetroot are all quick off the mark
  • Try not to interfere too much – it’s not the end of the world if your pre-schooler is a bit liberal with the seeds, you can always thin out the seedlings together later

...and choose a few things you wish they'd eat, like spinach

Right now is a great time to start growing veg to harvest this year. Some varieties of old favourites like carrots and peas can be sown outdoors until July.  Or if you want to get a head start, most nurseries and garden centres will have young plants in stock at the moment.

Happy growing, and happy harvesting!

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