Half term is nearly over and most of our bulbs are in the ground – or in the case of hyacinths, under the bed Just the tulips to go but we wait several weeks until it gets cold to pop those in. My friend Sara had a few more than us to plant in her flower field on the edge of Salisbury Plain so one of our holiday trips has been over there to help out.
I can heartily recommend a family day in the open air digging trenches, popping bulbs in and checking out the wildlife interspersed with soup, homebaked bread (in industrial quantities) and cake. Between us we managed about 700 bulbs in the space of three hours, leaving plenty of time for a bit of seed sowing of hardy annuals in modules to compensate for those munched by ravenous slugs.
Planting bulbs for cropping is very different from beautifying your garden in preparation for Spring. And with keen children involved it pays to prep in advance.Here’s a few tips for bulb planting with kids…
- Sort your bulbs and write your labels in advance.
- Mark out the narrow beds beforehand so that it’s clear to everyone which is the bed and which the path.
- Swap around the jobs regularly so that nobody gets bored or has backache.
- It’s easy enough for bright kids to work out spacing if you tell them how many bulbs need to go in a marked out space. It’s the most enjoyable Maths lesson some kids will ever have.
- Get them to check that bulbs are the right way round before back filling the trench.
- Build in plenty of breaks for snacks, worm watching, puddle jumping, football. Ours were so engrossed that they didn’t take many breaks but it pays to be prepared.
Who says kids spend all their time on computers?