Winter gardening

Our gardening expert on how to get children interested.

With the schools now on holiday, children will get bored with their Christmas presents eventually. So what better way to keep them occupied and healthy than by getting into the garden?

It’s never the wrong time of year to start, there’s always plenty to do and think of with them and t also encourages children to eat their greens if they have helped grow them. But what about gardening with children in winter? Just like any gardener, children can spend the winter planning and prepping for next spring’s planting activities, as well as some children’s winter activities that actually include growing plants to keep their green thumbs in practice.

It’s a good timeto sit and discuss the life cycle of plants and planting and caring for them, what’s involved and how to…

Grow some cress on paper towels or in egg shells as hair and draw faces on the shells. .

Start an avocado tree by sticking four toothpicks around the perimeter of the seed and suspending it in a glass of water with the round end down. Change the water every two days until roots form and start to fill the grass. Plant the growing seed and let it go, but watch out! They grow fast.

Create a leafy garden by placing the tops from carrots, beets, and onions, as well as the bottoms of celery, on dishes of clear water. Keep the tops watered each day and place the dish in a sunny window. You’ll see a small leafy forest growing within a week or so.

One of the most common garden projects during winter is to grow a sweet potato vine. Suspend a sweet potato in a glass jar half filled with water. Keep the water filled so that it touches the bottom of the potato. Green sprouts will appear at the top and will eventually turn into an attractive viney houseplant. Some sweet potato vines have lasted a few years, growing up and around kitchen windows.


Use lollipop sticks as plant labels with bright paint or markers.
Roll pine cones in peanut butter, then birdseed, to make simple bird feeders.
Go through seed catalogues together to plan next year’s planting.
Use paper towels and old newspaper into seed-starting pots for spring planting.

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