The past year has really put our need for nature front and centre. Greener Spaces Better Places’s latest research confirms that for three in five of us, getting outside in nature is more important than before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Gardening is an incredible way to engage kids with the natural world, engaging all their senses. And you don’t need a large yard to do it! 

Dom and Dunc from The Plant Runner have joined us to share their advice on how to build a super easy micro-garden – fun for big and little kids alike. 

Their top tip? Plant a flower and herb patch in a small, manageable crate. Building this mini garden will engage the kids’ senses; smell, touch, and once flourishing, taste – and best of all, it will slot nicely onto balconies, courtyards, or even a sunny kitchen bench!

 

What you need:

  • A couple of old crates
  • Seeds of choice
  • Paddle pop sticks
  • A marker
  • Hessian sack or fabric
  • Potting mix suitable for vegetables and flowers

Step #1: Line the box

Here we go! First up, line the box with something permeable – a material that will allow for good drainage. Hessian sacks are great because they are compostable, they hold the soil, and eventually they will break down. Your local nursery will sell these but alternatively, you can ask local produce stores if they have any old potato sacks. Coffee roasteries will have these too. 

Step #2: Fill the box

Once your lining is good to go, grab the gloves and fill your box with a quality potting mix suitable for vegetables and flowers. If you’re unsure which soil is best, ask an expert at your local garden centre, as it’s important to get the foundation right. A good tip is to leave roughly two and a half centimetres of space from the top so that when you’re watering, it doesn’t overflow out of the crate. 

Step #3: Plant your seeds

Now it’s time to plant your favourite vegetables and flowers. Most seed packets will come with a planting guide, so follow those guides before buying the seeds and when you’re planting. You can use your paddle pop stick to gently push your seeds into the soil. Then take your marker, write on the paddle pop stick what you’ve planted, and pop it in the soil so you can remember what you’ve planted.

Step #4: Water your seeds

Before you get too excited and leave your crate to flourish, don’t forget to give your little seedlings a drink! Sprinkle the soil with your watering can.

Pop the box in a sunny position and before you know it, with some love and care, your little spot of soil will transform into a thriving mini herb and flower garden both the kids and yourself can feel proud of. 

Step #5: Raising your plants

Remember, gardens need regular love and attention. We recommend keeping an eye on these three things:

  1. Watering – your watering schedule will very much depend on your region, what you’ve planted, and the garden’s drainage. As a general rule, water your garden in the morning so it has moisture throughout the day, and water as frequently as needed to keep the soil moist (but not soaked).
  2. Checking for pests – to ensure your plants make it to your dinner plate, make sure pests don’t get them first. Here’s some of the common ones to keep an eye out for.
  3. Feeding – once you’ve kept your latest leafy friends alive for a few months, settled into a good watering routine and figured out exactly how much sun each needs, you’re ready for the next exciting level of plant care – plant feeding! Check out this blog post here for everything you need to know to feed those hungry pals.

Image credit and header image credit: Greener Spaces Better Places

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:

Six easy-grow herbs to heal your body and mind

Six easy-grow herbs to heal your body and mind

Spending time around plants is good for your health and eating some can reap even more benefits.

3 min read

Harness the healing power of your garden

Harness the healing power of your garden

Several hospitals in Australia are adopting and designing ‘healing gardens’ for patients.

2 min read

Planting for pollinators (brings all the bugs to the yard)

Planting for pollinators (brings all the bugs to the yard)

You can bring bugs to your yard and spice up your dinner plate at the same time with these plants.

2 min read

A quick guide to balcony gardens

A quick guide to balcony gardens

Plants are a great way to add a touch of life, style and privacy to your balcony space.

2 min read

Easy to grow native edibles for any garden

Easy to grow native edibles for any garden

Our native edibles expert Narelle Happ from A Garden For Life, shares some of her favourites.

3 min read

Bring all the birds to the ‘yard

Bring all the birds to the ‘yard

Kangaroo Paw is an Australian Native plant that comes in an array of colours and attracts bird life.

3 min read

Gardening as therapy

Gardening as therapy

Gardening and therapeutic horticulture is a way of providing interaction with nature to help the mind.

4 min read

A beginner’s guide to building an outdoor bath

A beginner’s guide to building an outdoor bath

An outdoor bath is a dreamy way to spend more time in your garden.

2 min read

Why a plant-filled office is great for productivity

Why a plant-filled office is great for productivity

Increasing the greenery in your home office could be the perfect boost for your productivity.

3 min read

Safe indoor and outdoor plants for kids

Safe indoor and outdoor plants for kids

If you've got kids at home, enjoy one less thing to worry about and try these eight low-tox plants.

4 min read

The Herb to Match your Kitchen Style

The Herb to Match your Kitchen Style

Find the herb that best suits your style in the kitchen, from minimal and classic, to indecisive.

3 min read

A Little Green Garden that Grew a Community

A Little Green Garden that Grew a Community

Meet Marcello. A larger than life Latino living in the inner suburbs of Sydney flexing a green-thumb.

4 min read