Buying and planting for our new herb garden(s).
Links to EYFS:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Understanding of the World
Expressive Arts and Design
For our first week back after Easter we decided to create some herb gardens, one at each site. This involved an exciting trip out to the local garden centre. Once we arrived we looked at many different herbs, fruit plants and flowers. We smelled the herbs (mint, basil, chives, sage, rosemary, thyme) and flowers and decided which ones we would like to buy. We also bought a few bags of compost.
Once back at the nursery, we put our compost in, dug some holes and planted some mint, chamomile, chives and also a strawberry plant. We gave all the plants a thorough watering and made sure they were in a sunny spot.
We talked about different herbs and what they are used for including flavourings for recipes and as natural remedies.
Try planting something with your child to help them understand the life cycle of something they have grown themselves. An easy one to start with is cress as you (almost) can't go wrong and will see positive results relatively quickly.
Follow the instructions below and your cress should be ready to go in about 15 to 20 days after sowing:
Buy some cress seeds (they are sold in many different places: garden centres, DIY stores, supermarkets or online).
Fill a container (a small pot or tray usually works well) with potting soil. Alternatively, place a few moist paper towels on a tray.
Scatter the cress seeds over the soil or the paper towels. If you are using soil, press the seeds in lightly and sprinkle lightly with a little extra soil. Place the container or tray in a sunny indoor location, such as on a window sill.
Water the container or tray gently with a water sprayer on a regular basis to keep the soil or the paper towels moist. Note that you will have to add moisture more frequently if you are growing your cress on paper towels instead of soil. Under normal conditions, the seeds will sprout in about 2-3 days.
Begin harvesting the sprouts when they are 2-3 inches tall (in about two weeks from planting). Use kitchen scissors to cut them about ½ inch above the soil.
Garden cress is classified as a cut-and-come-again crop, meaning that once you cut it, it will just bounce back and continue to grow again. You should be able to cut your cress four to five times before it goes to seed.