Hints & Tips
There are only a few school weeks left in the academic year and in just over a month, you will find that your children have plenty of time on their hands.
As well as long school holidays, the summer is also the time of year when you should be out in the garden the most, so why not combine the two and let the children get involved in the gardening?
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has issued a few tips on making your little ones more green-fingered this year.
Although you'll need to be selective with the gardening equipment they can use, children can easily sow and grow plants such as Clarkia to bring a bit of instant colour to your plot.
You only need some gloves, a watering can and a trowel if you want to get the seeds in now. Or, you can wait until the holidays are in full swing in August and just bed down the flowers. As they grow, if the plants become crowded, thin them out to ten to 15cm apart.
Another simple yet fun task is to cook what you grow. However, as your kids may not see eating their greens as much fun, you'll have to be creative.
Pull up some brightly coloured crops such as beetroots or carrots and grate them. Stir together 90g of self raising flour, 50g of brown sugar, some sunflower and poppy seeds, 50g of your veggies, one egg and 50ml of milk. You can also flavour with citrus zest and juice.
Spoon into muffin trays and bake for 15 minutes at 200 degrees C.
If your children take to growing their own food then they could see some reward in radishes. This is a quick growing crop that can be planted now and will be ready to harvest just before they go back to school.
Cherry Belle, French Breakfast, White Icicle and Purple Plum radishes are all recommended by the RHS.