Why it’s good to plant flower bulbs with kids

The effect of contact with the natural world

In a study for the Dutch IVN (Institute for Nature Education and Sustainability), researcher Agnes van den Berg listed the positive effects that contact with nature has on the health and development of children. Her study showed that contact with the natural world helps children develop their creativity and imagination, their motor skills, and their self-confidence. So there you are! What could be more effective than that? And to cap it off, it’s also fun to dig around in the dirt along with your child.

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Getting started with flower bulbs

So how do you begin planting flower bulbs together? Good preparation cuts the work in half. First, locate a spot in your garden that could use some colour in the spring. This might be in a border, but also consider a pot or planter. Try something different this time: ask your child(ren) for advice about what colour these flowers should be. It’s called ‘relinquishing control’. But just wait and see how proud your child will be when the flower bulbs start to bloom in the chosen colour (even if it might not fit right in with your own choice of colours for the garden). Once the colour has been selected, you can put your heads together and look for the prettiest flower bulbs in pink, yellow or whatever. This could be at a garden centre, home improvement centre or online. The most familiar kinds are tulips (Tulipa), daffodils (Narcissus) and crocuses (Crocus). Other kinds include Glory-of-the-Snow (Chionodoxa), Chequered Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris) and Winter Aconite (Eranthis).

Into the garden: lets start planting!

Once you have your flower bulbs, it’s time to get your hands in the dirt. But you don’t need green fingers because these flowers are already hidden away inside their bulbs. Anyone can plant flower bulbs – even you and your kid(s).

  • A day with plenty of autumn sunshine would be just perfect. So while gardening, you could all soak up some vitamin D – isn’t that a happy thought?
  • At the spot where you want to plant your flower bulbs, rake the soil to make it nice and loose.
  • Dig a hole in the ground, making it about three times as deep as the flower bulb is in diameter.
  • Plant the flower bulbs in the hole, making sure that the ‘nose’ is pointing up.
  • Cover the flower bulbs with the excavated soil.
  • Water the bulbs as soon as you’ve planted them. This lets the flower bulbs know that it’s time to grow roots. The sooner the roots develop, the better the flower bulbs can tolerate freezing temperatures.
  • In the spring, your flower bulbs will bloom, and you and your children can enjoy looking back on when you planted them together.

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