Gardening that Kids Can Do in Autumn and Winter

As the summer makes way for the winter, gardeners have to wait six months for the next spring. This can be a very frustrating time for kids as their youthful bodies can’t possibly wait for so long to see their garden getting back to life. But there is something they can do even during this weather.


Kids can plant bulbs and build hibernation houses for birds. They can spend a lot of quality time in the garden even when it’s not spring. Here are a few ideas that could be great fun even in this weather.

Planting Bulbs

Planting bulbs is one of the traditional autumn jobs and it’s something that the whole family can have lots of fun doing.

planting a bulb

That said, it’s important to remember that many of our favourite kinds of bulbs are poisonous – including snowdrops, daffodils and crocuses. Fortunately with the exception of daffodils (almost all of these plants are potentially harmful) for most kinds, it’s only if bits of the bulb itself are actually eaten that problems are likely to occur – though with very young children and small bulbs, this may not be much comfort!

Generations of children have, however, enjoyed bulb-planting unscathed, but it is certainly an activity that requires careful supervision.

Bird Tables and Hibernation Houses

Autumn is also a good time to think about wildlife. If you’re planning on feeding the birds through the winter or giving hedgehogs or toads a place to hibernate, it’s important to get organised before the worst of the weather, so they can find the facilities you’ve arranged for them and get used to the idea.


New tables and houses will need to be set up, while old ones probably need a clean and a good look over to make sure they don’t need to be repaired or replaced. With birds in particular, a winter bird table can give your kids a great opportunity to see their feathered visitors regularly and up-close, so it’s well worth spending the time to make sure everything’s ready for them.

Preparing for Winter

Towards the middle of autumn there are plenty of jobs to do to prepare the garden for winter and again, it’s something that kids can help with too. Now’s the time to prune as necessary, clean the tools and store them until spring and generally have a good tidy up – which means lots of leaves to rake up, prunings to collect and spent plants to add to the compost heap for those willing little hands!

gardening in winter

Winter Growing

Even if the wind’s howling and the snow’s falling thick and fast outside, your green-fingered kids needn’t stop growing things, if, like most, that’s the bit of gardening that they enjoy the best. There are some wonderful kits available from a number of garden suppliers which can have you growing everything from the old traditional mustard-and-cress, to a range of sproutings, such as bean-sprouts and alfalfa, or your own mushrooms. There are even a few on sale which will let you start off some varieties of tomatoes, peppers or herbs – complete with their own mini window-sill propagator and expanding peat pots.

It may be winter in the garden, but your children can still grow-their-own if they want to, without ever venturing outside their own back door!

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