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Things For Kids

Things For Kids

Young Gardeners

When I was a child I had a small parcel of land in the garden.  Sometimes it was a building site, and I played with my cars and trucks in the mud but after a while I started to grow things in it.  

My first attempt was to go around the garden and take cuttings, simply plonking them in my little patch and making a bit of a mess but it was my version of my father’s garden.

This taught me a couple of things. How to use secateurs properly - my father showed me. More importantly, that somethings grew and some things died, and what you imagine your garden to be doesn’t always work out.

But more importantly, it was great fun and that’s the most important part of it all!


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There's nothing more fun than growing plants in funny containers!

Get a large 3 litre pop bottle and fill it with compost, then screw the lid back on.

The top part of the bottle is to be used as a way of keeping the container up in the soil. Just push it into the soil and you have a compost filled bottle sticking up in the air.

Now, if you cut holes, very carefully, in the bottle sides and wet the compost, you can sow seeds in these holes, and train the resulting seedlings to grow up the outside of the bottle.

This way you can grow lettuces, carrots, radish and any number of flowering plants. Lobelia is really good to grow, you get what looks like a little blue-flower covered mound in the border.

You can water through the holes and they grow very well indeed.

What is more fun is you can move them around the garden, if you don’t like it in one place just move it to another!

 

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Remember to look after the visitors to our gardens - birds and other wildlife - especially if it is raining, cold or snowy.

There isn’t a lot of food about in winter, and a small bird needs plenty of it if it's to get through each night, and that’s where we can help. Perhaps the best food we can make for them is seeds coated in fat.

You will need: 

1 plastic container
250 g various seeds (no salt)
1 piece of string
250 g lard

Cut the fat into small pieces - about 1 cm squares will do.
Lay a single row in the bottom of the container and then press the seeds into the fat.
Repeat until all the fat is used up and you have what looks like a dirty seedy snowball in the shape of your container.

I find that take-away containers are perfect and so are yoghurt pots.

Cut a hole in the container and thread the string through so you can tie the container to a tree.

Choose a tree that the local cats can’t easily access.

Keep your eye out for how much food is left in the container - birds will fly a long way to get to your food, and if there is none left they have wasted a lot of energy getting there.

As seen in the Mirror
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