LIFESTYLE

Gardening with James Vaughan: Get kids involved in the garden

James Vaughan

Reporter:

James Vaughan

Email:

james.vaughan1020@gmail.com

Gardening with James Vaughan: Get kids involved in the garden

With people still stuck at home and the weather improving it’s a great time to get kids outside and gardening. We have recently sown seed potatoes with our young twins and they are starting to ask the names of all the insects they see. We are also going to sow flower seeds over the weekend.

I had a recent correspondence from a cousin and thought it was very funny. It mentioned his mum - who is a great gardener. So to you, Phil Sheehan, I wish you good gardening and continued good health!

Sowing seeds

Supermarkets are one of the few shops we can still visit. Packets of seeds can be purchased in many of them- in some cases for less than a euro. You will need to decide whether you want to grow flower or vegetable plants. Certain vegetables grow better in Irish gardens. Veg like beetroots, spring onion and radish are the easiest plants for kids to grow. You don’t need a garden - these veg can be grown in a window box or even a large flower pot.

Plant Bulbs

Bulbs can be also be planted at the moment- at least some types of bulbs. Bulbs might be easier for kids to plant because they are larger and easier to handle. Any summer flowering bulbs can be planted around this time. Bulbs like summer lilies or begonias can be planted and there are many more types available. Just place the bulbs into some compost into a seed tray or pots.

You should see results after a couple of weeks. Remember to keep them indoors until the last frost has finished, usually at the end of May.

Plants at Home

If you do not have any seeds you can still grown plants at home. When cooking carrots, keep the one-inch piece you cut off the tops. Place these carrot tops in a dish of water, the same can be done with parsnips. After a few days a green bud will become visible. Once you keep the dish topped up with water the green bud will begin to grow and you will get green feathery leaves starting to emerge.

After a couple of weeks, you will have a nice plant of green feathery leaves.

Another plant you can grow easily at home is an avocado plant. When using an avocado in the kitchen you are always left with the large seed in the centre. This large seed can actually easily be grown into a house plant.

Once finished with the avocado, keep the seed and give it a wipe to clean it. Then take three cocktail sticks and stick them each about one inch into the avocado around the base. Place this avocado seed with cocktail sticks sticking out above a glass of water.

Keep topping up this water to ensure it is very close to the seed but never touching it. After a couple of weeks you will see the seed split with a shoot appearing at the top. At this point plant the seed in a pot with some compost. I have grown a plant about five feet high this way in the past.

Contact James by email: james.vaughan1020@gmail.com