Great time to educate kids in the garden and greenhouse

As spring approaches, garden expert Jane Ford has been encouraging readers of to introduce their children and grandchildren to the pleasures of gardening.

Ms Ford suggests that kids are like sponges ready to be filled with information and that passing on gardening and greenhouse skills is a worthwhile way of helping them grow.

"Children are little learning machines and are inquisitive about everything; they love being outdoors and are eager to learn to do things for themselves," she wrote on the website.

"Gardening is an excellent way to instil in them a sense of self-confidence as well as to teach them a skill that will last a lifetime."

Among a number of tips, Ms Ford suggests planning and building a garden together.

The choice of plants should be based around the child, and fruits and vegetables are ideal for educating them about healthy eating as well as gardening.

Carrots, peas, cherry tomatoes and giant pumpkins are all fun plants to grow that kids will love.

Meanwhile, Rick Rosen of the Dallas Morning News has suggested that gardeners check that their trees root flares are not covered in soil or mulch as this can cause them to suffer and even die.