Gardening for Little Green Fingers

Being a keen gardener, I was very interested to receive a new book from the RHS which aims to encourage children into the garden. Called ‘Grow Your Own for Kids’, it has been written by the Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins and RHS writer Lia Leendertz. Bursting with bright ideas and packed full of colourful pictures the book is the perfect guide for the little gardeners in your life. Aimed at children aged 5-11, it shows you just how much fun gardening can be and encourages children to get outside and “get growing.”

The book includes 30 easy-to-follow step-by-step projects ranging from growing perfect potatoes to creating a tasty tower of berries, growing giant smiley sunflowers and how to grow the best corn-on-the-cob. The book takes the ‘Grow Your Own’ ethos of food provenance, self-sufficiency, and healthy eating that has captured the nation and aims it to a younger audience.

I found the layout of the book very visually appealing with its bright pictures and clear instructions. However, as I am a little older than the target audience I gave it to my 6 year old to review.  He declared it to be “cool” and has bookmarked the Giant Smiley Sunflowers and the Bees Need Homes projects as the activities he would like to do. He also loved the “Oh No! What’s Happened Section?” which contains lots of pictures of bugs eating crops.

What I like about this book is that it contains lots of practical projects that you can undertake with a child which will give really exciting results. In addition to learning how to grow your own fruit and veg, children can learn to understand the transition from produce to plate with plenty of simple recipes for creating tempting treats, such as home-made tomato sauce and delicious fruity lollies. There is a project which shows how to make a pizza shaped herb garden where each slice is filled with a different herb. The final part of the project includes a recipe for how to make the best herby pizza sauce.

Most of the projects in this book can be undertaken even if you have a tiny garden or only a window box so there really is something for everyone.

Competition!

If you would like to get your hands on a copy of this lovely book, we have three copies worth £12.99 each to give away.

For you chance of winning, just use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!


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52 Comments
Sylvia Leaver

Lovely book. My tip is to get the children to save their ice lolly sticks and use them as plant labels.

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Lisa Parker

This would be a great resource for me as I am trying to develop a garden with the children that I work with. My tip is to recycle used plastic bottle as cloches. cut the top half (minus the cap) and place it over plants to protect against the cold. It’s great as it gets children involved in recycling too.

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Liz Burton

This book sounds amazing! We love to garden together but daughter soon gets bored so I’d say do a little and often.

Thanks for the comp!

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Tracy

You can buy cute little gardening sets with kiddie sized trowels, forks etc which children will love! I get my children to grow vegetables so we can eat their products once they have grown! – they love knowing they have grown the veg on their plates! My children also grow sunflowers, which they measure and see whose sunflower grows the highest! Enthusiasm from the adult definately passes on to the children so make sure you get involved and enjoy the experience too! Oh and one last thing! My girls love to grow lavender and pretty flowers to attract butterflies and bumble bees and lady birds!!!!

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jennifer thorpe

my top tips are be very very very patient! our children love watching the plants grow, but they can get bored quite easily

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Jo Young

Let them have their own patch to look after. Let them choose the plants to grow and let them have fun.

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kerri dunn

my kids love digging up the potatoes or picking the strawberries! and they love to plant and watch the pumpkins grow!

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Heather Haigh

Things that grow fast, kids like to see results quickly. Soft fruits that they can munch straight from the garden as they work too.

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Hilda Hazel Wright

You don’t need top tips when there is mud to play with! Dress for the occasion and enjoy getting mucky, its part of the fun!

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Andrea Smith

Just let them have fun and don’t stress about the mess that they make. The main thing is to enjoy it. Let them do as much as they can and want to do even if it seems like they’re doing it wrong!!

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Kathleen Lynch

My two boys love gardening, they have their own mini tool sets. They are allowed to get as mucky as they like, now that’s motivation.

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Saran Benjamin

I have always find that giving the children their own special place to plant either a large pot or a corner of the garden helps to keep their interest. To start them sunflowers are your friend because they tend to grow easily. Another nice thing for them to grow is sweet corn as they love the troll looking “hair” that appears :0)

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Gemma Turner

My top tip for children is to give them their own little mini plot that they can choose what they grow so they feel a sense of pride with what they have achieved.

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Maya Russell

Get them to pick and eat the fruit/vegetables straight away. Then they’ll remember where it came from and will, hopefully, be interested in growing fruit and vegetables with you. All kids love digging in the dirt so get them to put on old clothes and don’t worry about them getting dirty. They can always have a bathe.

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Kerry Clark

Love the book, my big tip on gardening with children is listen to what they want in the garden, they really surprise you!

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Gerri

Help them to sow seeds that come up really quickly , before the novelty wears off. We sowed geranium seeds and they were up within three days – now forming interesting little plants on the windowsill.

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Natasha Gandy

Let the children have their own little patch that they are in charge of. They can chose what to grow – veg or flowers. Found if they grow their own veg then they are more likely to eat it and it educates them as to where veg/fruit comes from xx

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anigel

Seems to be an issue with your newsletter signup it says that first name and last name are not required fields but will not let you sign up without putting them in.

The best thing for kids and gardening is to make sure they grow things they can see growing quickly. Sunflowers and radishes really get their interest as they can see things happening before they lo0se interest and move onto other things. once you have them hooked then it is easier to introduce the idea of things that take longer to show any reward for the effort.

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admin

Hi Anigel, thanks for getting in touch. We have tested the newsletter sign up box (at the top left hand side of our home page) and it is all working fine. Try it again, hopefully it will work okay. Let us know how you get on. :)

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Sally

I encourage my children to choose their own seeds or plants so they can be involved in the whole process. They then take ownership and responsibility.

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SARAH LAMBERT

My 2 children have always loved been outside from the moment they found their feet,We dont have a garden :( but have plant pots in our yard and both my kids have 1 each which they like to create into little gardens with different coloured flowers.My tip is Let them get their hands dirty and be able to feel the soil with their fingers,Kids love getting stuck in :)

Im following your blog and subscribed through email btw its a great blog very useful xx

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Dessiree Brown-Llaneza

Funnily enough i was only having a conversation with one of my friends today about gardening with children! My two love it! They are only 2 and 3 but they love and understand that we grow our own veg and it teaches them to learn HUGE amounts of patience, they realise how good stuff takes time!!!!! I’m about ready to start indoor planting my seeds and i know i’ll have two very willing little helpers!!!!

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Cheryl

My son has his own little patch, where he can plant whatever he wants in it, I let him choose what he wishes to plant and supervise to ensure it is done correctly. Encourage him to tend to the plants, and when he sees what he has accomplished he is so pleased with himself.

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rachel humphries

I have little gardening sets for them I have a few sets of seeds, but although have grown things before. Have to say my garden is abit boring we haven’t really gor further than planting crocuses, and daffodils last year. This book seems like a great idea to start some ‘ exciting ‘ projects with the little uns.

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Samantha Wesley

Let them help plant seeds, it gets them interested and they want to do more in the future as the see how the seeds grow.

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Lesley

Get a book!!! I tried introducing my wee ones to growing some simple veg and herbs last year – with disasterous results!
I am not a gardner, and as a complete novice with no guidance I was doomed to failure. My kids and I need a book like this so we can actually reap the rewards of our hard work this year! :)

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Phyllis Ellett

For our 3 year old Granddaughter, found it more fun for her if she grows vegetables that ‘grow upwards’ like runner beans etc, She can see better the growth rather than things like carrots that ‘don’t do much’.

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