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Encourage the children into the Garden

kimwilde75.jpgPart of Kim Wilde’s Top Ten Garden Tips 2008 - for more information go to www.digyourdinner.co.uk.
Encourage children into the garden this summer. All kids love to have a den to play in, and making one can be really simple. Use bamboo or hazel poles tied together with climbers planted at the base such as clematis, or climbing annuals such as nasturtium or sweet peas, which will need netting for them to cling on to.
Kids also love to plant seeds, so why not plant seeds they can eat later on. There is a good range of mini-veg available at garden centres with bite size carrots and sweet corn, just sow in a container of soil-based compost placed in a sunny spot and keep them watered.
Guided and encouraged by you, gradually your children can learn the basics of planting and growing things, and you can learn together, whilst also sharing precious moments. Kit out the kids with proper tools for the job to really impress them. A hand trowel, gloves, watering can and wheelbarrow will make them feel very supported and enthusiastic to get going.
Easy growing projects for children include growing sunflowers and pumpkins. Their large seeds are so easy for little hands to handle. Fill small pots with compost and plant one seed in each. Keep on a sunny windowsill and water until the plant is big enough to plant outside towards the end of May or after the frosts.
Pumpkins need a lot of moisture and are heavy feeders so be sure to incorporate some well-rotted manure or compost to the soil when planting. While the pumpkins are small children can carve their name, or a smiley face which will grow and grow as the pumpkin does!
Sunflowers too enjoy soil that is rich and well drained in a sunny spot (they are however surprisingly tolerant of partial shade). Children will be amazed as the flowers grow taller and taller, so why not have a competition to see who can grow the tallest one? Both pumpkin and sunflower seeds can be roasted in the oven with a little salt or soy sauce for a tasty and nutritious snack.

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