School’s out, and while the kids are probably finding it novel to have so much free time on their hands, eventually they are going to run out of fun things to do and start letting parents know they’re bored.
A fun, easy and worthwhile project to undertake would be to build a children’s herb garden. All you need for a basic herb garden is soil, seeds and a vessel in which you can grow the herbs.
First let’s talk about soil. Any run-of-the-mill garden soil will do. Just make sure it is free of weeds, because weeds will deter the growth of herbs. If you can afford it, get potting soil, because it will be a clean palette in which to plant your herb seeds or seedlings.
If you don’t have any containers in which to grow your herbs, don’t sweat it. You can plant them in well-worked ground and they will grow just fine. Be sure to keep the herb bed free of weeds.
Gardening Know How suggests you keep the herb garden small as not to overwhelm your child. Also keep it close to your garden so you can work together.
You don’t need containers, but they add to the fun. It can be something as simple as a clay pot will suffice, as long as it has a hole from which excess water can drain. Be sure to provide a layer of rocks or gravel to the bottom quarter of the container to help with the drainage process. Fill the container the rest of the way with soil, to about 2 inches below the top of the container.
You also have to concern yourself with critters that enjoy munching on your plants. You can place the containers on a bench or other elevated surface to keep bunnies from making a lunch of your child’s parsley. Pintrest has a design that is fun and functional. Take a wooden pallet and stand it up on its side against a wall or other surface. Attach large hose clamps to the pallet at various heights, making sure they are set so they can hold a clay pot. Hang the clay pots in the hose clamps and watch the herbs grow.
If you want to tie the herb garden into cooking lessons, Learning Herbs suggests you and your child consider planting thyme, rosemary, sage and basil. This way kids will learn the functionality of the garden when they used the harvested seasonings in pasta sauce or on a homemade pizza.
Some of the herbs can be grown indoors as well, so when the warm weather takes a turn toward winter, bring the herbs in and create a window garden. You can keep the herbs in their containers (use an old saucer under the pot to catch excess water, or a clay-pot saucer might have come with your clay pots) and place them in the window that gets the most sun during winter months. Keep them from directly touching the window, which could damage the plant.
Starting your child with a simple herb garden that’s easy to grow could lead to a lifetime hobby of gardening.