Plant up a herb garden with the kids

lifestyle.home.garden
Published on November 2nd 2020
2
A little girl is looking at the camera
Bring your little ones into the garden, embrace their creativity and spend quality time with them.
Level of difficulty | Easy with some parental guidance

Why a Herb Garden?

It's the perfect time of year to plant up a pot or bed of herbs with the kids - we have plenty of rain and the sunny days do wonders for their growth.
Think about the types of herbs your family may need or would like to use. Herbs can be great for culinary uses but can also be used for remedies and teas, amongst other things.
Find a space for pots on the patio or balcony, or a dedicated space for them in a garden bed, and allow them this space to explore.

Which herbs should we plant up?

If the kids would enjoy using kitchen herbs that would be easy to add into a meal or enjoy as part of an afternoon calming tea, then these herbs are a fantastic choice:
Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus)
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
The kids will love making sandwiches from cheese, tomato and fresh basil leaves, and one can teach them to add thyme and sage to burnt butters and Italian dishes. Lavender is naturally calming and can be placed under a pillow for a more calming nights sleep.
Maybe the children fancy a butterfly garden - it's a wonder to see the larvae and then the butterflies themselves take up residence in a garden and children are fascinated with them. The following herbs are a wonderful choice for attracting pollinators.
Bee Balm (Mondarda fistulosa, Mondarda didyma)
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Echinacea in itself is a whimsical plant with its droopy petals, and adding fairy garden elements to this herb space wouldn't be out of place.
A little girl sitting in a garden

The practical side of things:

Show them how to gently make spaces for the seeds or seedlings and how to remove each plant from its seedling pack. Once planting holes are dug, the soil should then be gently compressed around each plant, with generous potting soil or compost added to the planting spaces.
Now that the herbs are planted, ensure that they are watered regularly. Give this task to the kids and make a chart of watering days.
Teach the kids to remove pesky weeds gently so as not to break them, and to pick herbs continually to encourage growth.
It's a fantastic idea, especially for older kids, to keep drawing of their herbs, or photographs, which both fosters a sense of pride, and encourages creativity and a sense of pride over their herbs.
It's also very simple to make signs for each herb from popsicle sticks and a pop of paint - let the kids (and the herbs) go wild!
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