Today on the blog, I’m welcoming Dirt Girl from the hit children’s series Dirtgirlworld, to guest post especially for Be A Fun Mum. Dirtgirlworld is a celebration of life outside, taking children to a world where the real and unreal collide. I love the show’s focus on loving the outdoors and environmental sustainability.
So, get grubby this winter with 10 gardening tips for kids from Dirt Girl.
Great fun winter gardening ideas
Gather up all the autumn leaves that have fallen and jump in it! I mean, make a big compost pile. Add some manure (sheep, cow, horse or chicken poo), some water and let it heat up! Or add them to the compost pile you already have. You can also use your autumn leaves to mulch your garden beds to help keep your plants’ roots extra warm over the chilly winter. As the leaves rot down they become food for the soil.
Winter is a great time to plant lettuce, beetroot and broccoli. Savoy cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, radish, rocket, rainbow chard, spring onions and turnips can be planted now too. If you plant them at every two weeks, you will get a nice crop all the way through winter. It’s hard to eat 10 heads of broccoli if they all come on at once! Believe me I’ve tried!
Plant in winter garden:
- savoy cabbage
- rainbow chard
- spring onions
3. Collect & Paint Pots
Start collecting conatiners & pots for your container garden now. Paint some personalized garden pots that will be used in the spring. Or you can use them now to plant some coriander, rocket, perpetual spinach, and silver beet.
Look at these cute rainbow painted pots from Whimsical Kids Canvas. Click the picture to read the post.
4. Herbs in Pots
You could try some lovely smelling herb pots too with thyme, rosemary and ‘winter savoury’. These herbs are tough and only need watering about every second or third week but the leafy greens will need watering every 4 to 6 days. To pick the herbs for the kitchen simply pinch off the tips with your fingers – doing this also prunes them which will encourage bushier, faster growing plants.
Plant in pots during winter:
- perpetual spinach
- silver beet
Try growing an indoor window sill garden with mini flowers.
If planting out in the garden make the most of cool season sun by planting vegies in grow bags which can be moved to where the sun is at any time of day.
7. Make a Bird Feeder
Winter is a great time for helping the birds in your backyard. You can build a birdhouse from scraps like timber, plastic drain pipes, PVC pipe. With very little alteration, you can repurpose well-cleaned 3.8-litre paint cans, washed plastic milk cartons, coffee cans or the newer plastic containers, old boots, stiff hats, faded wreaths, and fallen branches into bird houses. Even materials that will only last for one season, like cardboard milk cartons, make good shelters for some birds.
You could even use a gourd! All that you need is a gourd and some wire. Find out how to make this on Family Fun Go.
Painted gourds can be used to decorate the garden too.
Materials you can build bird houses from:
- plastic drain pipes
- PVC pipe
- well-cleaned 3.8-litre paint cans
- washed plastic milk cartons
- coffee cans
- plastic containers
- old boots
- stiff hats
- faded wreaths
- fallen branches
- cardboard milk cartons
8. Bird Diary
Set up bird feeders and keep them full. Provide a daily clean water source. Keep a record of all the species of birds that come to the feeder and what date each first was spotted.
9. Plant Bulbs
Plant bulbs in a pot, in a good soil mixture with drainage material in the bottom like broken old bits of terracotta pot. Daffodil bulbs are easy peasy to grow in a pot. Most bulbs can be planted twice as deeply as they are high, and about the same distance apart. Bulbs are usually planted with the pointy end upwards, except ranunculi. If you are unsure, plant the bulb sideways and it will turn the correct way up as it emerges. Place pots outdoors, protected from strong winds and frosts, in a position where they will receive natural rainfalls as much as possible. Bring pots indoors to enjoy when flowering begins.
10. Visit a Garden
Make a day of it and visit a local community garden or even a nursery to see what’s growing.