Get the kids involved with growing vegetables t...


Flowering plants

As the chill sets in across the country, you may find yourself needing a bit more… shall we say… convincing to dive into gardening activities. However, the winter season can be an exciting time to engage young gardeners in the joys of tending to nature’s gifts on your doorstep. 

One way is to involve the kids in growing vegetables during the winter months – especially during the school holidays. This not only provides a fun and educational gardening activity, but also offers a unique opportunity for family bonding and learning. 

Let’s explore some creative ways you can make your winter garden a hub of excitement and growth for the younger members of your household.

Set the scene

Transforming your garden into a winter wonderland can capture children’s imagination and enthusiasm. 

Engage your kids in the process of designing the winter vegetable patch. Good, healthy soil, plenty of sun and water is what will give the winter crop the best odds of flourishing. In the Cape, the rains take care of the latter; for those up north, regularly watering the patch will give the little ones a good sense of responsibility in the process.

You may find it neater and easier to tend to if you mark out square ‘lots’ for planting, starting at around 30 x 30cm. Want to add some colour? Pansies are the perfect edging plant for cooler months.

Choose winter vegetables

Encourage your children to research and choose a variety of winter vegetables to grow in your garden. 

The below options are bound to result in a successful winter harvest:

Easy leafy greens like: 

Colourful root vegetables such as:

Explaining the seasonal preferences of different vegetables can be an educational experience for your kids, helping them understand the natural rhythms of plant life.

Lettuce plan and plant together!

Get your kids involved in the planning and planting process right from the start. 

Allow them to help prepare the soil, sow seeds and plant seedlings under your guidance. Tooled with our guide to growing veggies from seeds, and our wide range of vegetable and herb seeds, you and your family can plant a memorable winter vegetable crop that will be well worth the extra hours in gumboots and gardening gloves. This hands-on experience not only teaches your kids valuable gardening skills, but also instils a sense of responsibility and ownership over the garden. 

Encourage them to keep a gardening journal to track the progress of their plants and note any observations or insights along the way. It will be a project they can proudly invest in, while they learn how to take care of plants.

Fun & games

Turn gardening into a thrilling adventure by organising winter garden scavenger hunts for the kiddos. 

Draw up a list of items related to winter gardening tasks, such as finding the first sprout, spotting a ladybird, or harvesting a ripe vegetable. Give your kids magnifying glasses and notebooks to aid their exploration. Not only does this activity make gardening more exciting, but it also encourages children to engage with nature and develop their observation skills. 

Who said learning had to pause during the school holidays?

Supper’s up!

As anyone who’s successfully grown even a single veggie will know, one of the most rewarding aspects of gardening is harvesting the fruits of your labour and enjoying them at the dinner table. And if you have fussy eaters, you may just find them becoming veggie converts, now that they’ve proudly grown their own for the family to enjoy!

Involve your children in harvesting fresh vegetables from the garden and brainstorming delicious recipes to prepare together. From hearty soups and stews to nutritious sauces and stir-fries, cooking with homegrown produce teaches kids the value of healthy eating and self-sufficiency.

Share the joy

Encourage your children to share their gardening experiences and extra produce with friends, neighbours or local charities. Organising a vegetable swap can inspire others to embrace gardening and foster a sense of camaraderie within your community.

By involving young gardeners in the vegetable-growing process and making it a fun and engaging experience, you can cultivate a lifelong appreciation for nature and healthy living. 

Your local Stodels Garden Centre has everything you could possibly need to grow your own winter vegetables and herbs, from seeds and seedlings, to compost and tools

And if things aren’t quite growing according to plan? Our Consultants-on-Call service is available to offer expert gardening advice.

So, bundle up, grab your gardening gloves, and let the winter vegetable gardening adventures begin!

Shop online