Green Fingers: Little green fingers: Get kids gardening

James Vaughan


James Vaughan

Green Fingers: Little green fingers: Get kids gardening

Starting plants off is a great way to get kids interested in gardening

Kids get a lot from gardening and growing vegetables. They get exercise and fresh air. They also get a better understanding of how food is produced. It will also encourage them to eat more veg as growing it becomes a part of their lives. I have included some great starting plants to get kids interest in gardening.


Sunflowers are a great one to get kids interested to begin with. I think this is because kids can grow a plant in one summer. What we have done in our house this year is have a competition. The competition includes my wife and I and our two twins. The winner will be the person who has grown the tallest Sunflower! I have sown some seeds last week and can’t wait to see who wins. I bought the seeds for less than three euro. That will provide me with enough plants for this year and for next.

Spring Onion

This is a great vegetable not only for kids but for anyone trying veg for the first time. The seeds are not expensive and the plants grow easily from seed. You will also be able to harvest in only a couple months. You can sow them in seed trays or where they are to grow -you don’t need much space. And once you get a crop you can simply sow again for a second and then third crop.


Radish is probably the quickest veg to grow from seed to harvest taking only a few weeks to mature. The radishes you grow in your own garden taste much better than ones bought in-store. Again, they don’t take up much space.


Strawberry is by far my most favourite fruit to grow. Strawberries grow from runners. These are, in effect, baby plants that shoot out from adult plants at the end of summer. If you plant these runners they will grow into adult plants and provide strawberries. Our strawberry plants are producing small white flowers at the moment.

At home we have seen bees pollinate these flowers and hope to be enjoying home grown strawberries by June.

Summer Bedding- timing

I have noticed several retail outlets offering summer bedding plants for sale lately - the summer is only a few weeks away.

However, I would offer a word of warning. Summer bedding plants do not tolerate any amount of frost.

Even one night of frost is enough to damage or even kill all summer bedding. In Ireland, we cannot rule out frost until the end of May. We are told to expect frost anytime from September on. My advice is that if you have bought summer bedding do not plant it outside for at least another two or three weeks. In the meantime, you should keep the plants in a glasshouse.

If you do not have a glasshouse then simply place the plants on a sunny windowsill indoors.

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