If you’re looking for a fun activity to do with the kids on the weekend, why not take to the garden and learn how to build your own vegetable patch? Gardening is a great activity to do with kids of all ages and with the weather warming up, the perfect opportunity to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Kids also feel a great sense of joy and pride tasting something they have grown themselves as well as developing an understanding of where food comes from.
There are a few things to consider before starting a gardening project though, so we’ve done the digging to bring you the ultimate guide to creating a kid friendly veggie patch this spring.
Consider the location
When deciding where to build your veggie patch, choose a spot with regular direct sun as vegetables need about six hours of sun to grow and flourish. If possible, plant your veggie box close to your home. Having it in the centre of your backyard will remind the kids to water it regularly as well as make keeping an eye on weeds, insect pests and ripe vegetables much easier.
Design the layout
If your mini gardeners are going to be looking after the vegetable patch, try and keep it kid friendly. Little arms can only reach so far so a narrow vegetable patch that is low to the ground is ideal. There are some great pre-made planter boxes available at hardware stores, or if you’re super crafty, pick up some timber and build your own! Your local hardware store will be able to help you with all you need for the construction of your veggie patch.
Pick your soil
Be sure to invest in good quality soil for your veggies to grow and flourish in. The best type of soil for vegetables includes lots of organic matter and compost. If you’re planning to grow vegetables with deeper roots (such as potatoes or carrots) ensure up to 30 centimetres of compost, with 15-20cm centimetres for all other vegetables. Fertiliser is also essential for growth, so try and dig fertilisers into the soil four weeks before you plant your seedlings.
Choose the right vegetables
When building a successful garden, it is crucial to select seasonal vegetables that are appropriate for your climate. The best vegetables for the Mediterranean Perth climate are lettuce, beetroot, tomatoes, pumpkin, celery, snow peas, spinach, silver beet and carrots. Yum!
Keep creepy crawlies away
Growing vegetables can encourage the growth of pests and insects who might start enjoying your delicious veggies before you! Common culprits include aphids, fruit fly and caterpillars and there are lots of pest control options available at hardware stores including sticky traps and organic sprays. A fun solution to tackling pests for kids is to release some predatory insects such as lady beetles into the vegetable garden; these can be ordered online and delivered to your door for the kids to release into the garden.
Make a plan for maintenance
Once your vegetable garden has been built, get the kids to come up with a plan for how they’re going to keep all their hard work alive and flourishing. That might look like a fun, colourful watering roster pinned to the kitchen fridge. This will give your little ones a sense of ownership and responsibility, plus it means all the upkeep won’t automatically fall to you! Spend some time together looking through cookbooks or online for fun recipes to use their vegetables in; kids will love reaping the rewards of their harvest whilst learning valuable cooking, nutrition and teamwork skills at the same time. Check out some of our favourite spring vegetable recipes here to help get you started!
What other fun activities have you been getting up to with the kids lately? Let us know if you’ve got some great ideas for us to add to our list.
Have you been considering a change of pace for you and your family? It might be time to consider calling Brightwood Baldivis home! If you’d like to find out more, please feel free to contact Debra or Lee for a chat.
Phone: 0414 940 724
Phone: 0403 060 129