4 reasons why you should get your kids into gardening this summer 11 months ago

4 reasons why you should get your kids into gardening this summer

Brought to you by Mash Direct 

Here's how to get your kids growing their own food this summer.

With the days getting longer and some good weather on the horizon, it won't be long now before the schools break up for summer.

And while we're all looking forward to spending more time outdoors in the coming months, you're probably not alone if you're struggling to think of ways to keep the kids occupied while some restrictions are still in place.

That's where gardening comes in!

We've teamed up with Mash Direct as part of their Grow Your Campaign, to help spread the good word of growing your own veg and herbs. There are so many amazing benefits that gardening has for kids, and the lovely people at Mash Direct have shared some of their expert advice for families who want to grow their own this summer.

1. It's easy to do

If your kids are new to gardening, you can start off simple.

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Certain foods such as herbs and peas are easy to grow and don't require much attention. Start off with one of these simple options before building up to a point where your kids can decide what they'd like to grow themselves.

Mash Direct recommends pea shoots as a good beginner's option. Buy a box of dried peas from the pulses aisle at the supermarket, soak a handful in water overnight and sprinkle over a tray of compost. Cover the peas with a 1cm layer of compost, place them in a sunny spot and in a couple of weeks your peas should sprout.

2. It teaches responsibility

Getting your kids into the habit of checking on their plants and watering them daily is a great way of teaching responsibility and organisation in a fun, exciting way.

Gardening is also a great way to show them how hard work pays off over time, as they'll see their gardens sprout and grow over the summer months.

And it's sure to make eating veg more appealing if your kids have grown it themselves! Encourage them to taste the food they grow, and use it as an opportunity to get them trying more veggies.

3. It's educational

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You can use gardening as an opportunity to show young kids how recycling and compost works.

Old plastic bins can be used as pots for bigger veg, while egg containers and empty food packaging can be used as seed trays for germination. You can also teach them how organic waste such as wood ash, coffee grounds and egg shells make amazing soil for growing their herbs and veg.

4. It's a bit of fun!

Above all else, gardening should be a fun way for your kids to spend an afternoon and a few muddy hours outdoors - and it's sure to get them smiling!

Kids can also label and personalise their plants however they'd like. If anything goes wrong or their plants don't grow like they'd have hoped, just encourage them to try again with different plants. It's a trial and error process even for the most experienced of gardeners, so don't let them get too discouraged!

Mash Direct is an Award winning independent company started by Martin and Tracy Hamilton at their family-run farm in Comber, in 2004.

For more information on Mash Direct and on how to Grow Your Own, click here.

Brought to you by Mash Direct