Make the most out of gardening with your child in Singapore with these tips from horticulturist Hedrick Kwan.
For a blooming good time, here’s what you should do when you’re gardening with your kids. Image: Getty Images
1. WORK WITH BARE HANDS
Take off those gloves and work with bare hands, if your child’s skin isn’t sensitive. He’ll appreciate nature better when he can feel the texture of the soil.
2. WORK WITH ORGANICALLY FERTILISED SOIL
It’s safer for you and your child. The initial strong smell goes away after a couple of days. Avoid applying toxic chemicals on infected plants; instead, cut away the affected plant parts.
3. USE GOOD QUALITY GARDENING TOOLS
They’re safer and last longer.
4. POINT OUT SMELLS TO YOUR CHILD
Whether pleasant or foul, these scents are a part of nature and gardening.
5. DON’T BE SQUEAMISH ABOUT WORMS
They help plants breathe better. They have no teeth and won’t bite. You can pick them up to observe their movements, colours and segments.
6. BUT LEAVE THE CREEPY-CRAWLIES ALONE
Most critters found on plants are not dangerous except for some caterpillars – especially the spiny, hairy ones – which contain toxins. Don’t handle them with your bare hands.
7. DON’T EAT FRESHLY PLUCKED FRUITS OR VEGGIES WITHOUT WASHING THEM
The residual soil or chemicals could make you sick.
8. WASH AND DISINFECT HANDS THOROUGHLY
A must-do at the end of each gardening session.
9. SPEND TIME TOGETHER RESEARCHING
. . . how to best care for your plants. It’ll be an educational experience for both you and your child.
This article was first published in Simply Her July 2012.