This post is sponsored by Australian Natural Pyrethrins
I really enjoy gardening. I usually potter in the garden just after the sun rises or late afternoon when the sun is at its kindest. Mr 14 and I like to spend time in the garden together. It’s been our thing we do together, ever since he was a toddler. Over the school holidays, we created a new vegetable garden planting some herbs and vegetables. Gardening is a healthy and fun activity as well as an excellent opportunity to have some one on one time with him.
Starting a vegetable garden isn’t difficult, if I can do it (over the years I have been well-known for killing plants, but I’m getting better) you can too. I have had fun creating mine; I encourage you to give it a go, even if it’s just one pot with a single herb!!
Benefits of getting the kids to help in the garden
- Learning new skills
- Emphasises the importance of nurturing
- Responsibility for caring for plants (plants die when neglected)
- Understanding cause and effect
- Developing confidence
- A sense of achievement
- Promoting a love of nature
- And it’s fun!
What can the kids help with?
Younger children will require supervision in the garden, while the older kids can independently spend time alone out there, but I do enjoy it being a fun family experience. Here are just some of the things they can get involved in:
- Deadheading flowers
- Picking flowers, fruit and vegetables
- Preparing the food to eat
Safety in the Garden
For adults and children alike it’s essential to be safe in the garden.
- Wear sunscreen and a hat
- Wear closed in shoes
- Use correct size tools
- Limit the use of synthetic chemicals
- Do not leave buckets of water unattended around young children.
USE pest control products CONTAINING a NATURAL ACTIVE ingredient
As much as we enjoy our fresh fruit and veg; aphids, caterpillars, whitefly, thrips and other insect do too! For controlling these problem bugs it is worth knowing that not all pesticide products are the same. If you’re interested in a more natural alternative for keeping bugs at bay then keep reading!
Australian Natural Pyrethrins are extracted from pyrethrum daisies. This bug-stopping flower is nature’s defence against insects. Unlike some chemical insecticides, it has low toxicity for us and our families and it’s grown right here in Australia. I find that products that contain PYRETHRINS as an active ingredient (active ingredients are what makes pesticide products work – this is what kills the bugs) work fast to eliminate problem insects that can otherwise wreak havoc in my veggie patch.
ABOVE: The Australian grown bug-stopping daisy
The reason why this special insecticide active ingredient is perfect for sensitive environments in your house and garden is because it doesn’t leave lasting pesticide residues – pyrethrins break down in sunlight!
For me, Australian Natural Pyrethrins® is a natural choice for protecting my family from pesky bugs. You may already be using this product without knowing it. It has a long history of use in insect control products worldwide, including Multicrop garden products and Raid Earth Options insect sprays. It can also be found in products for use on your family for tackling headlice and on pets for combatting fleas and ticks.
ABOVE: Multicrop has several garden bug control products containing Australian Natural Pyrethrins®
Where to find products containing Australian Natural Pyrethrins®: Simply look for the ‘daisy mark’ on product packaging, or check for PYRETHRINS in the list of ACTIVE CONSTITUENTS on the product label.
Here is a list of trusted pest control products containing Australian Natural Pyrethrins®. These can be found at your local grocery store or garden centre.
ABOVE: For fast and effective control of problem insects in the home, look for Raid Earth Options products containing Australian Natural Pyrethrins®
Designing the Vegetable Garden
Look at your garden, determine how much room you have for the fruit and vegetables you would like to plant. You can line your vegetables up nicely, or as I have done, just fill your space up sporadically. The only important factors are:
- Clear the weeds before planting
- Good drainage
- Plenty of sunlight
- Ample supply of water
- Place taller plants at the back
- Mix some organic matter through your soil before planting your fruit and vegetables.
- Pay attention to spacing guidelines. This is to ensure your crops don’t overshadow each other, which will result in plants failing to mature.
This is our vegetable patch that we started just before Christmas. We don’t have a huge backyard so I removed a few plants from our side garden to create a space for some vegetables and herbs.
I have planted, mint, basil, oregano, dill, thyme, parsley, strawberries, rocket, spinach, zucchini, capsicum and tomato. Plus I have a dwarf lemon tree (looking a bit sickly after it has been damaged by winds) and dwarf mulberry bush.
Great plants for beginners in the Vegetable Garden
Choose the right plants for your location is important. If you’re starting out, you’ll want easy to grow plants, which kids will love to smell, touch and eat. Like the ones listed below:
- Cherry tomatoes
We have found strawberries to be the favourite of all the plants in our vegetable gardens over the years. It’s like a treasure hunt and celebration when they find a juicy red strawberry, rarely strawberries make it into our house, they are usually eaten before then!
I like to have a couple plants of mint and basil in my garden, as I use basil regularly in dinners and mint in punch and water. Like most herbs, basil, parsley and mint can be grown and picked all year round. Growing my own herbs saves on buying them at the grocery store.
Tools you may need
You will need a few specific tools to help you in your vegetable garden:
- Gloves – to protect your hands
- Hand fork – to loosen the soil
- Hand spade – to dig the holes for your plants, I find the smaller spade enough
- Organic Soil – specifically for fruit and vegetables
- Sugar Cane Mulch – a blanket of protection for your fruit and veg
- Rake – to spread the soil and mulch
- Labels – so you know what each herb is
- Scissors – I like to have a pair of scissors specifically for my veggie patch to take cutting of herbs.
Labels are important, a few years ago my hubby thought one of my basil bushes was a weed and removed it, I was devastated but appreciate that he was weeding the garden.
- Water the garden at least every second day, daily through the very hot days
- Remove any weeds as you don’t want them sucking any nutrients that is for your fruit and vegetables
- Continue adding mulch to help retain moisture
- Pick ripened crops frequently to encourage more production
- Water the soil, not the foliage to prevent leaf fungal diseases
- rotating what you have grown in your vegetable patch will break the breeding cycle of pests and soil diseases.
From planting, weeding, to eating this is a fun activity you can do with your kids!