[Infographic] How to create your urban garden?
Growing plants together with kids is a great way to experience the garden together. Give them their own cultivation corner where they can grow their own favorites. Go for easily cultivated varieties and garden dimensions that are suitable for children. Here you go – a simple starter kit with hands-on instructions – and you are soon up and running!
First and foremost, find a sunny corner in the garden. An area of 12 square meters is enough for several siblings. Add some rhubarb plants and berry bushes, and you have a good start to the children’s own little garden.
Divide the area (12 m²) into 8 garden beds. Each bed should be 80 x 120 cm, a good size for growers with short arms. Try to find small pallet collars (or make them yourself). With small beds there is no need to step on the soil when it is time to plant, thin, water and harvest.
Dig out the site, about 50 centimeters deep. Cover the bottom with a ground cloth (it will stop any weeds from below). Place the collars and fill with soil, regular potting soil will do just fine. Add mulch on the surrounding land, it provides a durable surface without weeds.
Time for seeding! Choose easy-to-grow varieties that produce results reasonably quickly. You can choose early varieties, so that you won’t have to wait so long.
Allow the children to wish for things that are both good, beautiful, or captivating in some other way. Let them be involved from the beginning and let them thin, water and take care of their cultivation. It’s really something special to enjoy the first shoots together, or when a bean first sprouts. And why not rename a ladybug or pet an earthworm together?
Simple things to start with are beans, potatoes, lettuce, squash, cucumbers and radishes. Strawberries also tend to be popular.
Flowers obviously belong in this cultivation, and several are also edible, such as garden nasturtium, borago and marigold. Mint is a popular herb with the taste of chewing gum and toothpaste. Chives and parsley are also perfect for pinching a bite! Letting them create their own plant labels makes for fun handicraft. Why not make them huge and colorful with plenty of space for the children to write the variety names on? Make a scarecrow together and let the children’s toys move out among the vegetables. An added bonus is surrounding the area with other edibles: rhubarb, berry bushes and fruit trees. It creates a nice framing and a good snack when needed.
Common hand tools work well for children who usually sit down and work. But please invest a little extra in good watering cans in the right child size – with a rose for spray – so that those poor plants aren’t watered down. Small children love watering!
Here are tips for good, fun and resistant varieties particularly suited to being grown by small children.
Fragaria × vescana
Lisa Ising is an established journalist and author in the field of gardening. She regularly contributes to leading magazines in Sweden and other Nordic countries. She wants to convey a creative and permissive gardening vision that includes children, animals and wild nature.
Lisa has dedicated her life to plants and botany, and she’s one of the initiators of Slottsträdgården – one of Sweden’s first urban gardening projects – which has grown into a well-known project which attracts all kinds of people who are interested in gardening theory and practice.
In her new book Trädgårdslegender, Lisa summarizes modern Swedish gardening culture. She present today’s most famous gardeners and conveys their grounded, practical advice and garden favorites.
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