“This makes me so happy. Every single time I walk past,” I said to my husband.
Since the success of our rainbow garden, I’ve become more confident and interested in gardening. For our next little project, I’ve been working with my friend from About the Garden to create a simple herb garden. I think it’s important for children to see and taste food from the ground, making those connections around them. We have no space for a garden, so we’ve opted for a pots placed in a spot I walk past multiple times every day, and there’s a happiness in that.
This project was surprisingly achievable. We broke it down into steps so it fit in around family life so we didn’t need to allocate or find a full day from somewhere.
Step 1: Plant seedlings in toilet rolls
2 weeks later
Step 2: Paint herb garden rocks
2 weeks later
Step 3: Plant garden
Soil – I used Searles Herb & Veggie Soil (for this first stage we used 4 bags — 1 per pot — and we will extend our garden with more pots soon)
Sugar Cane Mulch
Pots (if using)
Herb Rocks (optional)
Step 1: Soil
Fill the pot or garden with the soil mix.
Step 2. Plan
When the kids and I planted the seeds, we did a colour coded system/mud map to help us identify the plants. After looking at our soil space, we planned where to put what, and what herbs we would use most.
Step 3: Seedlings
Remove seedlings out of the container. For best results, the seedlings should be at least 5 cm high. We used toilet rolls to grow our herbs from seeds (instructions here: Toilet Roll Seedlings).
Most of the the toilet roll had already biodegraded by the time we did the planting so I removed the top section before placing in the soil, but it can be left there and it will eventually break down.
Step 4: Planting
Dig a small hole in the garden bed, place the seedlings in and press the soil in gently but firmly around. When determining how far to space herbs apart, defer to each soil packet or tag for information. As a very general guide, many herbs can grow to about 30 cm square.
Love the happiness in her face!
Step 5: Water
Give the herbs a good watering. We added SeaMax™ Fish & Kelp to the water. This will give the best start for our garden by fertilising the plants and protecting against insect and fungal attacks.
Step 6: Mulch
Add mulch to the top of the pot/garden, keeping a very small opening around each plant. We used sugar cane mulch.
Step 7: Label
The children made herb rocks to help us identify and plan the garden out an we added them to our mini garden.
We are also growing tomatoes and we have added a trellis to this pot.
Step 8: Care
Follow the care instructions that come with the relevant plant. Depending on how they are planted, they will need consistent watering during these hot months. Ground gardens need less watering, but as we have opted for pots, we water every day during these hot months. It’s become something we all enjoy.
Next step: Eat!
I recently interviewed celebrity chef George Calombaris for an upcoming feature and I asked him for simple tips on what we can do with our herbs garden to encourage interaction and enjoyment for the children, which I will share next in this mini series.
Another easy (space saving) herb planter idea
Putting a thank you here to About the Garden for helping me with this. I was not paid for this post; my friend supplied me with the soil and guidance to help me an I’m so grateful (and excited). About the Garden has heaps of gardening tips over on their website.
Kirsten McCullochOctober 27, 2013 at 10:07 am
I totally agree with you about the importance of children being able to see and taste food straight from the ground (or pots!). We have always been into growing as many of our own vegies as we can, but since we got a dog (5 years ago) it has limited our gardening space some, and with kids and ridiculous busy-ness it’s just gotten harder to find time in the garden. BUT, we always have some herbs, and usually some salad greens, in pots just outside our door, which I love.
I think having them where you walk past them daily is an excellent idea. I love the herb rocks too 🙂
Kelly Be A Fun MumOctober 28, 2013 at 10:24 am
Yeah, I think having them where we walk past has made a really big difference because we see (and enjoy) them everyday.
alanaOctober 27, 2013 at 6:58 pm
Love the little rocks that your kids have painted! Such a cute idea! We have a herb and a vege garden and its also become a tradition now to go out in the afternoons and water it..we all enjoy that time of the day!
Kelly Be A Fun MumOctober 28, 2013 at 10:26 am
The rocks do give the pots that extra POP! It was the children’s idea to do that.
That is what it’s all about, isn’t it: incorporating it into normal family life. That is when we have found family projects to be the greatest success.
A Conversation With George CalombarisNovember 10, 2013 at 7:35 am
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ReneeNovember 19, 2013 at 9:48 am
Yummo Kelly, love how you created a little tomato fairy garden SUPER CUTE!
Thanks for sharing the garden <3
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