Tips for gardening with kids

Frankie Flowers offers great ideas for gardening with little green thumbs.

By Today's Parent staff
Tips for gardening with kids

Tips for gardening with kids

Lessons from the garden

Citytv's weather and gardening specialist, Frank Ferragine, comes by his nickname "Frankie Flowers" naturally. His family has been in the gardening business since 1956. More than four generations of Ferragines work at the family's Ontario greenhouse and the passion for plants lives on in Frank's two sons, Matheson, three, and Gavin, five.

Here are 10 easy edibles kids can grow.

Where to Buy? (From left) On Matheson: blue and white shirt, $15, and jeans, $17,; shoes, $40,; On Phoenix: polo shirt, $17 and plaid shirt, $30,; overalls, his own; shoes, $35,

Tips for gardening with kidsImage by John Cullen

Add a little love

Frank tells the group of kids that tomato seedlings need love in order to grow. Just like kids!

"There's nothing better than connecting a child directly to nature through gardening," Frank says. "It teaches so many life lessons; such as caregiving, process, ownership and rewards. But the best part about gardening is just enjoying the outdoors and getting dirty!"

Schools are seeing the benefits of gardening on kids. Read more here.
Where to Buy? (From left) on Ally: striped tunic and leggings set (with headband, not shown), $17,; necklace, stylist’s own. On Rory: hairband, stylist’s own; dress, $30,; cardigan, $58,

Tips for gardening with kidsImage by John Cullen


Use your senses

Gardening is all about the five senses. Challenge your crew to see, hear, touch, smell and taste their surroundings (be careful with that tasting one!)

Check out our "Outdoor survival guide."
Where to Buy? (From left) on Gavin: striped T-shirt, $17,; cardigan, $57,

Tips for gardening with kidsImage by John Fuller

Contain it

No space? No problem. “Outdoor containers are an easy solution and the options are endless,” says Frank. “With kids, my favourite thing to grow in a pot is cherry tomatoes.”

For a delicious cherry tomato and chive guacamole recipe, click here.
Where to Buy? (From left) on Zion: sweater, $50,; watch, $35,; on Rory: as before; on Autumn: hairband,
stylist’s own; top, $30, and pants, $80,; on Ally: as before; on Phoenix: as before; on Matheson: as before

Tips for gardening with kidsImage by John Fuller

Taste it

“Look for sensory plants, like lamb’s ears, and plants you can taste, like herbs,” Frank says.

Giveaway: You could receive a copy of Frankie Flowers’ new book, Pot It UP: 150 fresh Ideas for beautiful, easy-to-grow containers. Join on Facebook and watch for the giveaway!

Special thanks to the Ferragine family and friends at the Bradford Greenhouses ( in Barrie, Ont.

Tips for gardening with kidsJohn Cullen
This article was originally published on May 01, 2012

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