Children can plant fruit and vegetable seedlings and herbs into moist, well-prepared soil all year round. Planning is the key to success. Refer to a planting guide like the Gardenate app to help plan what you intend to grow and when. Are you planting something that people like to eat?
Go through your checklist to ensure you have all the materials you need.
Run through the plan with the children and outline the safety steps involved.
Plant and seed labels are your friend. They will guide you on how, where and how far apart to plant your seedlings. You can use a measuring tape, a stick or hand widths to help.
If you have enough space and plants, you can plan to have your seedlings mature at different times.
Space out the pots onto your bare bed and discuss where they may go. Use planting information and the plant labels to help guide the discussion.
Consider how much space your plant needs when it is fully grown. Will it shade other plants?
Where do you think these plants should go?
Fruits and vegetables grow best in rich, well-drained soil so preparing your garden bed is an important step. You may already have good conditions from building your no dig garden bed.
If using raised garden beds, you can prepare the soil in the garden beds. Dig the soil often to break up the clods (clumps), adding decomposed organic matter such as compost to improve the soil’s quality, drainage and moisture, and reducing the need to water.
To give the plants a head start, children can also add in a manure mix and well-rotted compost into the top 15cm of soil.