Have you been wondering what to do with your preschooler? Does your little one enjoy scooping soil into a pot? In this article, Andrew from Quickcrop shows us how to grow some easy crops in a small space with your preschooler. These projects would also be suitable for a creche or preschool to tackle!
You Don’t Need a Large Space
This season I’m going to show you how to grow some easy crops in a small space with the minimum of fuss. I’ll show you don’t need a large space, just a small sunny spot in the back garden or playground to produce a surprising amount of food.
As someone with 3 children myself I see the kick they get out of growing something and how they like to take ownership of the crop they’re involved with. This works right through to the kitchen where they’re far more likely to try something new if they grew it themselves.
We grow super sweet sugar snap peas which rarely make it to the dinner table. The pretty pea vines are picked clean by busy little fingers searching for a passing snack. Of course the great thing about a pea plant is the more you pick the more it produces so they’re actually doing you a favour!
Connecting Kids with Nature
Growing your own also does a wonderful thing, it connects you to the cycles of nature. It shows that plants don’t grow overnight and, just like children, they need a little care an attention to flourish. You’ll be surprised how many offers you’ll get for a basic task like watering (usually done with intense concentration) and how keen children are to get involved.
(In my experience don’t suggest weeding or you may end up with an empty bed!).
At Quickcrop we’ve been growing vegetables for over 15 years but we still remember what it was like to take those first few steps. What I can tell you is it’s fun, not particularly hard work and really very easy. You don’t have to feed the whole neighbourhood from your first attempts but you can produce small amounts of the tastiest, freshest food imaginable with very little effort.
Gardening in small spaces
With urban dwellers wanting to join the ‘Grow your own’ revolution but lacking the space there are more and more products available for growing in a small area. Just as flowers can be grown in pots, so can vegetables. Patio planters will produce an excellent crop from a limited space.
Planter growing is easy with no digging and very few problems with weeds and soil borne pests. Use a good quality multi purpose compost and keep them well watered and your patio planters will not only look fantastic, they’ll produce some very tasty treats. Also because the size of the planter is relatively small they can be moved around or even taken home for the holidays if required.
Ready to go packs
To get you going Mykidstime and Quickcrop have assembled handy packs to get you started with a variety of easy crops. Of course most of the products listed are available in your local garden centre, we’ve just made it easier by assembling the correct variety of seed and provide the full kit just a click away. The packs can be delivered directly to your home, school, creche or play group.
We’ve taken into account your term times so have only included crops which will be ready by June/July. I’ll be covering a range of different crops to grow in your planters and taking you through each plant step by step. Check back here on Mykidstime for the most recent updates.
Pack 1 incl. Carrot Patio Planter + Seed + Compost €29.50 – Buy here
There’s something so exciting about crops which grow under the ground, it’s a bit like removing the wrapping on a present. You can’t beat pulling your own carrot and for some reason it’s something kids love. The planter comes in a bright orange horticultural fabric and really looks the part with the fine green foliage of the carrot plant.
Pack 2 incl. 3 x Potato Planter + Seed Potatoes + Compost + Potato Fertilizer €34.50 – Buy here
New potatoes are a very easy crop to grow and will supply a good harvest of small to medium new potatoes by the middle of June. They require very little looking after and are a fun crop to grow in a bag. Add a little of the supplied potato fertilizer to boost your crop and look forward to a great harvest. Children love to root about in the compost to discover the smooth skinned golden new potatoes.
Pack 3 incl. 2 x Strawberry Patio Planter + Strawberry Plants + Compost €29.50 – Buy here
Find me a child who doesn’t like Strawberries! The Strawberry planters come in hard wearing funky pink horticultural fabric. They contain 8 stitched planting pockets for your strawberry plants.
Pack 4 incl. 1 x Sticklebag kids planter + Sugar Snap Peas + Compost €34.50 – Buy here
The Sticklebag is a planter specially developed for children with a great looking giraffe print planter containing a bamboo wigwam and soft rubber cane topper. Looks fabulous in a play setting.
The above prices are subject to our standard delivery rate of €6.50 (Still probably less than the fuel you’ll use going to the garden centre!). If you wish to order more than 1 pack the delivery stays at a maximum of €6.50 so better value the more you order.