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5 Tips for Balcony Gardening with kids.
Spring signifies the birth of new life, blooming flowers, buzzing bees and tweeting birds. What better time to ignite a passion for gardening and encurage our children to get outdoors? The reality however, is that it is not always possible to put together a Pinterest worthy veggie patch in your backyard so we've put together 5 tips on how to get a balcony or "container" garden going with your kiddies!
1. Kiddie-proof your balcony:
We promise that once you embark on this journey it will cause much excitement! For this reason, please keep safety front of mind especially with younger kids in house. You never know when they will want to venture out to water their plants so make sure your balcony doors are secured, the railings are in tact and there are no chairs/steps close to them that might encourage little ones to climb up and over! If you are using any form of chemicals, please keep them tucked away (personally we would recommend staying clear of these all together though!).
2. Pick easy vegetables:
Just as their awe and wonder will be intoxicating as you watch your seedlings flourish into mature plants, the dissapointment of tricky seeds that never emerge will be crushing! Especially for a first attempt we recommend you pick simple, hardy veggies and herbs that will be forgiving in the initial stages of establishing your routine and honing your skills! The ususal suspects include:
- Herbs such as parsley and mint
- Cherry Tomatoes
These all have the added benefit of being toddler taste bud friendly too as there will be days when your tinies will need a bit of coaxing and Peppa Pig seems more to their liking!
3. Keep containers accessible:
Little enquiring minds will be checking every now and then to see if there little plants have emerged yet so make sure that you place containers where they can easily get to them to water, trim and most importantly view! We really liked this idea from PlaydoughtoPlato for the initial stages where there isn't much to see! Plant seeds in clear containers to allow you to see how the shoots and roots emerge!
4. Include watering in your daily routine:
As with any new habit you are introducing, the easiest way to make it stick is to work it into a routine. Set aside a time of day that practically works for you, and no, this probably will not be first thing in the morning during the chaos that is the school run! We loved the idea of adding a seed journal or diary to help. This is can be adapted easily to your child's age; for older kids it can include some measurements (of water given or height of plants) while for smaller kids, they could draw what the plant or seed looks like as the day's weather for instance. We've put together some ideas on our Pinterest Board for you!
5. Use overflow plants and flowers gifts:
Especially when you start planting herbs, you'll probably find you have an abundance of stock! Don't let them go to waste and make the most of your bountiful harvest by re-planting into personalised pots for teachers or grandparents! Your child will be beaming with pride at their praise and it is so much more meaningful than bath salts!
Most of all, remember to have fun! Decorate your pots, add Lego Minifigures and pretend they're in the jungle, enjoy the time you have and make the memories you will treasure!