Let’s Spring into the Garden!

Gardening is a valuable, educational experience for all children. Children can learn about the process of growing fruit, vegetables and herbs which can then be harvested, and the fresh produce used in the kitchen.

Children are educated about the process of planting, weeding, watering and the lifecycles of plants and gardens right here at Sesame Lane, and you can get involved at home too! Gardening is a wonderful opportunity to connect with nature and with your child.

When planning gardening activities with children, it is important to consider the following:

  • The developmental stage and abilities of the child to understand and follow instructions.
  • The child has the right fine motor skills to confidently manipulate and use gardening tools; and most importantly…….
  • Provision of guidance, opportunities to practice skills and active adult supervision when children are gardening.

Children learn by being actively involved and by watching adults demonstrate safe practices when gardening. Gardening is not only limited to the veggie patch, but may also include sensory gardens, bush tucker gardens and flowering gardens.

Outcome 2 of the National Framework for children services states children Are Connected With And Contribute To Their World. Gardening allows Sesame Lane Educators to demonstrate their commitment to this outcome for children by implementing various activities for our children in the garden.

We find that children are more confident trying new foods that they have planted, cared for and picked themselves. And one of the BEST things about gardening? Getting your hands into some lovely dirt and the potential for finding worms!

What to plant this Spring

Here is a list of the best fruits & vegetables to plant for warm areas such as the Moreton Bay Region and areas that are frost-free or only have occasional frosts.

  • Passionfruit
  • Paw paw
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Citrus
  • Macadamia
  • Rocket
  • Silverbeet
  • Spring onion
  • Lettuce
  • Zucchini
  • Pumpkin
  • Leek
  • Capsicum
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes

The best herbs to plant in Spring are:

  • Parsley
  • Sweet basil
  • Dill
  • Mint
  • Marjoram
  • Coriander
  • Catnip
  • Thyme

Companion Planting

Introducing flowers to a vegetable garden is full of perks beyond simply adding beauty. Flowers can be used in companion planting to help deter pests and attract beneficial insects, such as pollinators. Interplanting also saves space and time, as you can grow and tend to more of your plants in one place.

  • Marigolds – They are great for planting near carrots and beets. (Root Veggies)
  • Lavender – These will attract bees and other nectar seeking insects, but they love being next to cabbage, silverbeet/spinach and most herbs!
  • Calendula – Are great for the soil. They are known to work with soil fungi to clean contaminated soil. You can also eat the petals in salad. And once the petals have fallen off, a seed head forms on the stem. If you let the seeds dry you can save them for growing more flowers. What an excellent lesson for the children.
  • Chamomile – You can make tea or plant near cabbage. Chamomile also attracts working insects that eat aphids and other pests. Handy little flower this one.
  • Nasturtiums – These love to grow near tomatoes and basil. They also attract bees and insects whose offspring eat aphids.

Inquiry Questions to ask your child

  • What does the soil look like? Does it look dry or wet?
  • Do you know how to plant a seedling?
  • Do you know what season it is?
  • Do you know what a companion plant means?

What’s next?

  • Check the garden beds. Do they need some compost? Maybe the garden needs some tilling? Get into the garden bed and give the soil a good toss and mix up.
  • Make sure you fertilise plants after planting with worm wee or some Seasol Fertiliser. Follow directions on the pack.
  • Plant seedlings as soon as you buy them and give a good drink of Seasol or worm wee.
  • Don’t forget to water your plants when necessary.

Not sure how to plant a seedling? Bunnings has a great video to show you how!

Early Years Learning Framework Outcomes for children:

Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world
Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners