Get Gardening

I’ve just arrived back from a trip to the Lake District to find that the onion and pumpkin seeds we planted a few weeks ago have sprouted with a vengeance. So now is a great time to start off seeds with the little ones. Make sure you use easy-to-grow plants so that the children don’t get disappointed. Here are some suggestions:

Sunflowers are great. They sprout quickly (within 14 days indoors) and, depending on the variety, can grow to great heights. You could measure the growth of the plant each week to see how much it is growing. An easy way to do this is to grow your sunflowers next to a wall so you can make a mark each week where it has grown up to. Plus, the flower heads really do follow the sun around the sky. Take a look in the morning and then before home-time and you’ll see what I mean.

Chives are great to add to salads and soups, have a bright green hollow leaf and pretty purple flowers. All you need do is plant them 1/2 inch deep in compost, keep the compost moist and they will germinate indoors in around 14 to 21 days.


Basil is a lovely aromatic plant with broad, delicate, green leaves that add a great flavour to your favourite dishes. In this country you really need to grow it indoors. You’ll see sprouts appearing 5 to 10 days after sowing.


Sweet Peas
I remember my mum always growing sweet peas for their pretty blooms and strong scent. These take a little longer to germinate – 10 to 28 days – but it’ll be worth the wait.


With their pretty orange flowers and round leaves that have a peppery flavour Nasturtiums are one of my favourite flowers. And, in the right conditions, plants can go rampant making them ideal climbers. Germination time is 10 to 14 days.


If you fancy having a go at growing with the children you won’t go far wrong with any of these plants. For success though buy fresh seeds – old ones will disappoint – and follow the instructions on the packet.

We have some lovely yellow pots and saucers which are ideal for starting your seeds off and we have children’s hand tool gardening sets as well.

For more gardening tips read my Gardening is Good for Children blog from last year.


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