Millions of children are learning to have green fingers and to help their parents in the garden

Almost two-thirds of children aged 5 to 12 now help their parents and grandparents with gardening – with watering the plants being a favorite pastime for youngsters

Watering plants is the most popular gardening activity for children
Watering plants is the most popular gardening activity for children

Millions of British children are learning to be ‘green fingers’, helping their parents pot plants, mow the lawn and grow vegetables.

A survey of 1,000 parents and 1,000 grandparents of children ages 5 to 12 found a growing movement to get their children to enjoy outdoor activities and get off the TV.

60 percent of children now grow vegetables with their parents or guardians, with one in six naming a sunflower as their child’s favorite plant.

Watering the garden, planting flower bulbs and potting plants were seen as the best gardening activities to share with a child, while 21% enjoy filling the birdbath.

Mowing the lawn was also one of the top ten favorite activities


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Gardening guru Kate Turner of Miracle-Gro, who commissioned the survey, said: “It’s amazing that so many young people are being inspired to learn such an important life skill.

“Not only that, spending time outdoors with loved ones can be such a special experience that families can hold on to for years.

“That’s why we’re working with Greenfingers – a national charity dedicated to supporting life-limited children and their families spending time in hospices across the UK – to contribute to a therapeutic garden within The Nook, a purpose-built children’s hospice, to help in Norfolk.”

The study also found that almost half (47 per cent) spent the various lockdowns teaching the young people in their care new things.

Gardening was high on the list – but 40 percent also showed them around the kitchen to improve their cooking skills, while 16 percent shared sewing skills.

And nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of those surveyed hope their child or grandchild will grow up with a green thumb.

Another 43 percent believe gardening benefits their children’s mental health, with eight in 10 wanting their young charges to spend more time outdoors than inside and watching TV.

The main reasons are that it’s better for their health (70 percent) and it helps them burn excess energy (56 percent).

But 57 percent think it is important for children to be interested in nature as they are the generation that needs to “save the planet”.

Most parents and grandparents look forward to interacting with the kids while gardening


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And 85 percent are happy about the bond that can arise from spending time in the garden with their children or grandchildren.

It also found that half of those surveyed spent more time gardening than they did before the pandemic – meaning 37 percent more children were also outside, according to OnePoll data.

Almost nine in ten enjoy teaching their children or grandchildren new things, with 70 percent having fond memories of learning new skills from their own parents or grandparents.

Miracle-Gro’s Kate Turner, who launched a special edition Greenfingers peat-free compost pack in support of the charity, added: “Spending time with loved ones in the great outdoors not only creates an incredible bond between families, but also there is a huge wealth of knowledge that can be passed on by parents and grandparents.

“Engaging children’s interest from an early age can nurture a love of gardening and nature that can last a lifetime, and the memories can also live on forever.”

The most popular gardening tasks for parents, grandparents and children:

  1. watering plants
  2. Plant flowers/bulbs
  3. potted plants
  4. Growing Vegetables
  5. weeding
  6. pick vegetables
  7. Filling up the bird bath
  8. sweep a path
  9. dead flowers
  10. mow the lawn
  11. jet washing
  12. paint fences
  13. returning insects
  14. cut hedges
  15. cut back trees
  16. leaf blows
  17. cleaning the pond
  18. dig trenches
  19. build shed
  20. Lay decking boards

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Fry Electronics Team

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