Talkback: Gardening with children

Answer to Penny,
My students absolutely love growing vegetables, but they like to take responsibility for their own plants (ie, these broad beans were planted by William and Jacob and so they are the ones to tie them in and pick them). Ownership apears to be important to them. I have involved them in planning the layout of the garden, designing on squared paper, measuring, etc. and have made clear to them that although the garden is owned by the school, it belongs to the students. Knowing this, my students choose to give up their free lunch time to water the seedlings in the greenhouse, and have even asked for the shed key to tidy it! Now that is rare and wonderful!!!
Good luck with your students. I think all children, of all ages, will love gardening if encouraged and alowed to do it for themselves without to much pressure. My guys come up some odd ideas that don't always work, but they are keen to try. They will learn through their own experiences. Also, I try to make light of any mis-haps or failures. In the cold times we do indoor planting, bench and staging building, etc that takes us through the winter.


  • From a kids point of view i think that gardening is great and those Not the bendy, brightly-coloured junk is rubbish go for the real stuff
  • I have purchased a Jasmine and my son would like to know if it is possible for him to take a cutting from it to grow to give to his grandparents for a birthday present
  • I am currently working with children who don't always get the opportunity to take part in gardening activities at home, hence I have started a nurturing afternoon where we can all garden. The age range is 5 to 11, do you have any suggestions of how we can start and the best things to plant. Thanks.
  • Can you help - we are opening a new school in Oman and are planning our gardens - being in middle east very different planting of course. we are keen to develop projects that will involve the children. wish to set up a founders garden and would love any advice - we are keen novices.
  • I love the idea of my son growing up to love gardening. He's only 19 months and this summer I'm going to leave a corner of the raised bed for him to dig up and play in and look for worms. He loves handling the trowel and just following me around as I weed. I hope he'll stay interested!
  • Hello Sandra mum of 2,

    I presume you're talking about Jasminum officinale, summer jasmine. You can take cuttings from it but they take a long time to root - about four weeks, which makes the process quite difficult. Maybe you could have a go at doing something easier at the same time - like pelargoniums. Then if the jasmine doesn't work your son won't be put off the whole process.

    Emma team

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