Children playing with potting bench

As we approach the summer months, it’s a great time to start thinking about what we can do in the garden with our children. Getting them out into the sunshine and fresh air is obviously a huge benefit, but encouraging them to get involved in the gardening teaches them important life lessons – hard work, responsibility, patience and much more.

The 28th May - 5th June 2022 is National Children's Gardening Week - a week that celebrates the fun that gardens hold for kids. If you're wanting to get involved in Children's Gardening Week, but wondering where to start - we've pulled together some top tips and advice for encouraging little ones in the garden! 

How to encourage children to enjoy gardening

If we had to pick just one thing to do to encourage your children to be more green fingered, it would be for them to have their own space in the garden and let them choose what to grow! They’ll become responsible for their own area (with your supervision of course) and be able to experience the whole process of turning a seed into something beautiful.

Easy plants for children to grow 

1. Marigolds

If you're looking for a simple flower for a little one to grow, Marigolds are a great choice to start off with, that produce bright and cheerful blooms through the summer months. They can be sown into pots and seed trays or directly into the ground - making them a perfect choice for little ones who have their own area of the garden to look after. The seeds are really easy to handle too, so it's nice and clear where they have been sown.

As an added bonus, marigolds repel whitefly, so if you're growing tomatoes in the same area, they'll be a natural deterrent!

Marigolds

2. Cornflowers 

Another flower for little ones to grow are Cornflowers. They have gorgeous blue colours that catch the eye of all gardeners, no matter their age! Not only are they pretty simple to grow, they also naturally attract bees and butterflies, so little ones will be able to enjoy not only the flowers their growing, but the insects and wildlife they attract!

Cornflowers

3. Sunflowers 

Sunflowers are probably the most traditional plants for little ones to grow from a seed, and possibly the most rewarding because of how tall they can grow! They germinate pretty quickly too, so it won't be long after planting that little ones can start to watch their sunflowers grow big and tall! 

Sunflowers

Growing vegetables with children

We all want to encourage our children to eat more fruit and vegetables, right? Well – growing your own fruit and veg at home is a great way to make this happen. Not only does it encourage your children to eat their greens, but in the process, they’re also learning about where they food comes from.

Inspiring children to enjoy gardening and planting from a young age means they can develop a healthy hobby for their whole lives. Not just that, it’s a healthy and inexpensive way for children to learn about nature, plants, and of course growing their own food.

Here at TP Toys, we wondered what we could do to make the process of growing vegetables with children easier, which is why we’ve launched a brand-new range of Wooden Potting Benches! Designed to help educate and inspire children to grow their own flowers, fruit and vegetables – and it couldn’t be easier to do.

TP Wooden Potting Bench

There’s a whole host of great features on the TP Wooden Potting Bench, but our absolute favourite has to be the viewing window. Curious children can lift the latch on the side and see the progress of their hard work. They’ll be able to see how their vegetables are growing and know when to pick (and more importantly eat) them!

TP Wooden Explore Potting Bench 

The TP Wooden Explore member of our potting bench range has a few different features which we know little ones will absolutely love! Included with this potting bench is a Cold Frame, which is the perfect space for children to protect the seedlings they are planting and help them grow into something beautiful! The other great feature about this potting bench is that it is designed in a similar way to a wheelbarrow - so children can easily move it around the garden to find the sunniest spot to help their plants grow! 

TP Deluxe Wooden Potting Bench 

The Deluxe Wooden Potting Bench features the brilliant viewing window, the handy cold frame and a trellis which means plants can grow with more exposure to sunlight. It has everything little ones need to get involved in the gardening, appreciating plants and growing their own, and will see them loving being surrounded by nature!

Other features and benefits

Not only can you use the Potting Bench to grow vegetables, but it comes with so many other great features to grow even more! There’s 3 Plant Pots included so children can grow a variety of plants and flowers. There’s also an easy to remove Splash Tub and Water Butt, which makes it perfect for watering plants and vegetables! And of course, as with all TP Toys wooden items, this Potting Bench is made from FSC® certified wood, so you know the wood being used is ethically sourced.

Easy veg to grow with kids

So you’re ready to hit the ground running when your Potting Bench arrives, we’ve pulled together a handy list of what you’ll need to grow your first vegetables. Whilst you can grow a whole host of root vegetables, we thought we’d help you get started by giving you a guide on how to grow carrots. We’re sure once you’ve mastered these, you’ll be growing plenty of other vegetables in no time!

To make the process even more exciting for your little ones, it’s worth knowing that you don’t have to stick with the ordinary orange carrots you usually get from your local supermarket – carrots come in yellow, red, white and even purple!

What you’ll need:

Step 1: Fill your Potting Bench with soil about ¾ of the way full
Step 2: Sow your seeds thinly in soil rows, around 5-7cm apart
Step 3: Cover the seeds with 1cm of soil and gently water them

    Now all you need to do is keep watch and look after them. Here’s some top tips!

    • When your seeds start to grow, thin them out if they’re too close together
    • Carrots don’t need much watering, but make sure you don’t let them dry out
    • Be careful not to crush the green tops on the carrots as these are what attract carrot flies!
    • If the shoulders of the carrots start to show about ground, top up with soil to keep them covered

    We hope you enjoying using your Potting Bench with your children and we look forward to seeing all the amazing vegetables you grow! Don’t forget to share your snaps on Instagram and tag @tptoys so we can see and share them!