Schooldays.ie - Ireland's Online Resource for Parents & Teachers

Parenting & Education in Ireland




Tips for Gardening

with Kids in Spring:

Growing in Containers






Children are always fascinated by the concept of sowing seeds and watching them transform from tiny shoots to fully grown plants; add the fact that you can eat them in the end and you are on to a winner!

Don't feel too overwhelmed, growing some fresh fruit and vegetables is much easier than you might think! To help you on your way we’ve assembled a list of our top tips for growing with kids this Spring, we hope you find them helpful.


Start Small



Building a large vegetable garden is a lot of work and can be more expensive than you might think. It is important to remember the time needed to look after a garden, you want something that fits easily into your busy schedule and doesn’t become a chore.





Choose Your Crop Wisely!


There's lots of fruit and vegetables you can grow in small planters like salad crops, baby carrots, radishes, peas, beans and even potatoes.

A planter is essentially any container that will hold a compost mix so have some fun with this; you can use old buckets, wooden fruit crates or even old wellies!




Start your seeds off indoors in small pots or plant trays



Sowing seeds indoors is a great project for children who will want to check every day to see if the seed has come up and will love to watch the progress from the first new shoots to a plant ready to transfer outside.




Make it Fun for the Kids


It is a nice idea to give children ownership at this stage, use a wooden plant label to mark the seed and write the plant name but also who put in the seed. ‘Jack’s Salad’ will be a source of pride for its entire journey from seed to its final destination on Jack’s plate!



The best way to start plants indoors is by using modular trays which are trays of individual planting cells. When it is time to plant out each seedling is removed with its own little plug of compost which means very little root disturbance, this gives the plants a great start.


Grow relatively fast growing crops


Remember large plants like broccoli or cabbage take a full season to grow. Interest may wane when the project takes a lot longer than the children expect.

Fast growing crops include oriental greens like rocket of pak choi, radish, spring onions, annual spinach and baby carrots. It is worth a little planning to make sure you have some quick crops ready to keep everyone interested while the slower crops are still growing.




Fast growing crops include oriental greens like rocket of pak choi, radish, spring onions, annual spinach and baby carrots. It is worth a little planning to make sure you have some quick crops ready to keep everyone interested while the slower crops are still growing.


Choose the right spot in your garden


Nearly all vegetables will appreciate the sunniest spot you can give them in the garden. Leafy crops like salad leaves and spinach will tolerate partial shade but you will not be able to grow successfully in very shaded areas.

As a rule of thumb you need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Start taking notice of where the sun falls and when areas go into shade as the day progresses.



This is another reason why containers are an excellent choice for beginners as they can be placed or moved to the optimum position in the garden without taking up too much room. A good tip when deciding where to place your pots is to arrange them when they are empty, they will be a lot more difficult to move when they are full!



Use best compost mix you can


Remember, just like kids, plants need good food to thrive and this means making sure the compost you use contains sufficient nutrients for vigourous growth.



Practice careful watering


The most common reason for failure when growing plants in pots is over rather than under watering. Saturated soil excludes oxygen and will cause roots to rot so be careful you are not killing plants with kindness!

Keep compost moist but not saturated, compost can sometimes look dry but still be moist under the surface, check by pushing your finger under the surface.


Above All, Have Fun!

Growing vegetables is really easy with just a few small tips your little ones will be green fingered garden gods and goddesses in no time!



Remember the guys over at Quickcrop are always happy to help with any advice you may need. Their free information service via Phone or Live Chat is free to everyone, not just their customers.

They also have a full range of video tutorials on all aspects of growing if you'd like to visit their Youtube channel.