Summer holidays are here, so it’s a great opportunity to get outside with your child! If you’re looking for a project to keep your child occupied over the holidays, how about starting a herb garden? They’ll love having the responsibility to care for their very own plants and will enjoy tasting the fruits of their labour!
What you need:
- Herb pots – you can recycle containers (such as tin cans or plastic bottles) to use as pots
- Potting mix (or seed raising mix)
- Selection of seeds or seedlings (basil, chives, coriander, mint and parsley all grow well during summer)
- A small garden shovel
- Watering can
What to do:
- Find a sunny spot to place the herb pots – most herbs like a lot of sunshine to grow! If you don’t have a backyard, find a spot on a balcony or even a sunny windowsill.
- Ask your child to almost fill the pots with potting mix.
- If you are using seeds, there will be instructions on the packet for how to plant them. Help your child to read and follow the instructions!
- If you are planting seedlings, ask your child to make a well in the herb pot that is as deep as your seedling. Help your child to gently pull the seedling from the pot you bought it in – make sure they don’t pull it away from the roots!
- Ask your child to place the seedling into the new pot, making sure it is deep enough that the roots will be completely covered by soil. Firmly press the soil around the plant to compact the soil and hold the plant in place. Make sure your child gives the plant a good water!
Give your child the responsibility for watering the herbs each day and monitoring how they are going. When you have some herbs ready to pick and use, try cooking some meals with your child that use traditional flavour combinations – think tomato and basil with pasta, potato salad with chives, or lamb with a mint sauce!
Gardening with your child can help them develop new skills, and learn about science and nature by growing their own food – and it’s a fun way to spend time outside together over the holidays.