Grow Your Own in Pots for Children

Monday, June 11, 2007

Posted by Amanda at Little Foodies

This is my first post so I would like to start by saying hello to everyone, a big thank you to Meeta for asking me to be part of the Daily Tiffin and I'm honoured to be writing alongside such lovely ladies.

I'm passionate about children learning about food. I think it should be fun and exciting but natural and stress free for everyone. One thing most children seem to love, if they have the opportunity, is to have a go at growing their own food.

Growing their own food helps children to learn where food really comes from. It's only natural that they would assume it comes in plastic or paper packets from the shop if they're not told or shown any different. It also helps them to learn patience, a little science, and a little nurturing.

It can be really easy to start with just one pot, some compost and seeds. Unless you're a seasoned gardener, I wouldn't suggest doing a whole veg patch with children. We learned this to our own cost. A kitchen garden or vegetable patch is a lot of work. A little pot or two is good fun and manageable.

I would suggest basil or rocket to begin with as both grow quite quickly and can be eaten cooked or raw.

Things you will need to get you started.

A small to medium size plant pot. A mug would do but would need a drainage hole drilled into it, we used a mug but it's quicker and easier to start with a pot.
A small bag of all purpose compost. The smallest you can buy.
A packet of seeds

If you have the time you could get the children to decorate the pot before they begin. This makes it a longer activity which is great if you're looking for things to fill time in the holidays.

It's a good idea to do this outside or if you're going to do it inside then put some paper down to protect the surface you're going to work on.

Fill the pot with the compost to about 1 to 2cm from the top.
Sprinkle the seeds over the top of the compost (not too many).
Sprinkle a little more compost over the seeds.
Then very gently add a little water.

Leave on a plate (to catch any water draining from the hole in the bottom) in a sunny position on the windowsill or outside if it's spring or summer and there's no chance of a frost. You should check the pot everyday to make sure it's not dry but don't over water. After a few days you should start to see some shoots coming through the soil and then quite quickly you'll have your very own herb or salad with which you can then eat as it is or make into some very tasty food.

Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Amanda from Little Foodies


Amanda, this is a lovely tip. Over Easter we did make a very small area for Soeren in the garden, where he grows his own herbs and tomatoes. Besides, the fact that he is learning that food takes time to grow and does not come in plastic containers, he has become really responsible. I love watching him watering the plants and removing weeds.
This is a great post and hope it encourages many to use your idea.

Meeta K. Wolff said...
June 11, 2007 at 7:41:00 PM GMT+2  

This post is as much important for children as it is for adults...and no I am not trying to be a kid again, but I don't have a green thuumb so I have to start like a kid!
Great post!

Helene said...
June 11, 2007 at 8:59:00 PM GMT+2  

Hi Amanda,

How canny of you to start with a mug. I reckon that if you have one familiar thing when you start a new project, everything seems to fall magically into place.

June 12, 2007 at 1:21:00 AM GMT+2  

Meeta, Thank you. We started our main veg patch over Easter too. It is lovely to watch the children taking such a keen interest in how things evolve and you're right it does make them responsible too.

Helen, Thank you. Nothing like being like a kid again. The Peter Pan thing seems to come quite naturally to me...

Cottage Smallholder, Thank you. I think you're right, especially so for little ones.

Thanks again

June 12, 2007 at 11:10:00 AM GMT+2  

I've done some flowers in the house with little miss, but an edible is a great idea!

Kelly-Jane said...
June 12, 2007 at 6:14:00 PM GMT+2  

How sweet! I remember fondly growing cress and soy sprouts with my mother when I was little, but those mugs are a great idea!

June 13, 2007 at 8:55:00 PM GMT+2  

I love the idea of using a large mug. And kids just love growing things, don't they? Mine is always helping...especially with the strawberry plants.

June 14, 2007 at 3:55:00 PM GMT+2  

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