30/05/2010 16:11 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

ParentView: Grow My First Strawberry

We all know how wonderful it is to get children growing their own but what if you're a gardening novice yourself or you don't have a lot of space to let them get busy with seeds?

This is where mini growing kits like Grow My First Strawberry come into play. No prior knowledge is needed and a windowsill will do (at first, you'll need some sort of growing space hopefully later).

But when my five-year-old daughter, who loves growing her own, was asked to try one of these kits I admit I was sceptical. Would anything grow at all and would I be left with a disappointed would-be gardener on my hands?We picked the strawberry packet as we have loads of sunflowers as seedlings, plus we'd never attempted to grow strawberries from seed before.

These 'grow your own' kits are basically a packet made out of toughened paper with foil inside. They are wonderfully packaged with a picture on the front for the child to colour in before they cut open the top

There is also a card attached with a recipe suggestion and easy to follow instructions on the back of the carton.Inside there is specially formulated compost and a small packet of seeds and it is here that I started to have my misgivings.

Would these things actually grow? Would the light reach them as they weren't sitting at the very top of the bag? Would the lack of drainage holes matter? Were we, in fact, wasting our time?

My daughter watered the compost then sprinkled the seeds on top (we didn't cover them, just patted them down to make sure they were in contact with the compost) and placed them on a windowsill where she has religiously checked on their progress and watered them.

And guess what? I was wrong. We have lots of tiny strawberry seedlings. Whether they will actually turn into plants is another matter as it is now down to us, but I was pleasantly surprised they actually germinated. The advice is to thin them when they reach 2.5cm tall and to leave two plants in the packet.

My only gripe with this product is the choice of strawberries. If they do grow into plants, we won't be eating them this year. A faster, more satisfying seed for children to sow would have been radishes, peas or salads.

However, this is a wonderful kit to give to as a present, particularly to those children who might not have access to growing their own plants.

The "Grow My First..." kits are priced £5.95 from GettingPersonal.

ParentView rating: 5/5