Tuesday 30 June 2009

Garden Cow Joins In

Yesterday it was too hot to do much in the garden. There is very little shade for much of the day at this time of year and with temperatures into their 3o's it did not seem sensible to keep my Little Garden Helpers outdoors. But we did head outside early in the morning, before it became too hot, and planted some herbs and cress seeds in trays and pots.

This is a task our Little Garden Helpers can do without much help from me so they get a real sense of acheivement and pride from it, especially when things start to grow because they really did do it all by themselves.

We picked our trays up from a local garden centre that offers a recycling point for plastic plant pots. You can help yourself to pots and trays left here by other people and drop off your old ones when you no longer need them. If you are short of planting containers, or have a lot of plastic pots lying about your shed that you want to get rid of, it is worth asking at your local garden centre if they offer this service.

Garden Boy delighted in filling the trays with compost. He loves the feel of it running between his fingers and although he appears to have got over his taste for eating it, he has developed a new obsession for dropping handfulls onto his head. But at least it is his own head, as I don't think Garden Girl would take too kindly to a compost shower. Garden Girl, on the other hand, worked with great concentration and the trays were soon filled.

The watering cans came out next and they both successfully watered the compost without soaking each other through.

Garden Girl was a bit confused at this point though, as I have, in the past, watered after sowing the seeds.

"Silly Mummy. We haven't done the seeds yet. What a funny thing. Mummy you forgot the seeds."

But I discovered, watching Gardener's World the other week, that it is important to moisten the compost before sowing the seeds, otherwise you may swish the seeds to the edges of the trays. I explained that I had been doing it wrong and that this was actually the right way of sowing seeds. With Garden Girl convinced, we emptied the seeds onto a small plate so they could both easily pick them up. Then Garden Girl carefully sprinkled the seeds evenly over the compost.

Garden Boy checked the quality of the seeds by tasting them and obviously deemed them worth planting as, following Garden Girl's lead, he started to throw them one by one onto the compost. It was lovely to watch him join in with the seed sowing for the first time. All throughout spring, when he was eating his way through the compost, he must have been paying attention to Garden Girl and myself and now knows what to do.

All that was left now was to sprinkle some compost over the top to cover the seeds. I gave closer supervision at this stage as the compost was needed in varying amounts depending on the type of seed we were sowing. Check your seed packets for how deep the seeds need to be. The only other thing to do was put some paper over the top of the cress seeds and we were done. By this time it was very hot so we stepped indoors for a much needed and well deserved ice lolly.

One of the plant pots now sits on Garden Girl's window sill; her very own basil plant to nurture. It sits beside a very small pot containing cress seeds that her favourite stuffed cow (Garden Cow) planted. This pot was very small so Garden Cow put some cotton wool at the bottom to help retain water and stood it on a tray which can hold some extra water. This truly is an activity for eveyone to join in - Stuffed cows included!


  1. It's lovely to be able to get in the garden in some sunshine for a change, but the weather is certainly making watering a challenge, I'm having to water every day.

  2. Hi Jo,
    I know what you mean. It takes all evening to water and this leaves us with no time to make any progress. But we don't get much sunshine in this country so we should take it where we can get it and it will hopefully make some delicious tomatoes.

  3. So glad to see Garden Cow is joining in. She obviously has been watching and learning and will prove a very useful member of the Garden Team.

  4. We haven't seen sun hats on children all summer, what with the sun being banished behind thick clouds. So it is lovely to visit here and see your little ones out planting. Love that windowsill!

  5. Sorry to be cynical, but I have to doubt garden cow's motives. She couldn't be hoping for a little nibble could she?