Gardening with Kids: 5 Easy Veges to Grow
There are so many reasons to get the kids involved in gardening. As far as outdoor activities go, gardening is a wonderful and well-rounded way to teach a valuable skill and connect kids to the earth. Half the fun of gardening is eating what you sow – you will be amazed at what children will eat when they’ve spent some time growing it themselves! Gardening with kids is also a physical activity that gets them outdoors and gets their hands in the dirt.
No space? No problem!
You don’t have to own a big plot of land to garden. Fruit and vegetables can easily be grown in pots or containers, on a balcony or windowsill or even inside if you’re a city dweller! Strawberries do very well in hanging baskets and tomatoes absolutely thrive in containers, so long as they have ample sunlight. Radishes do great in deep pots and beans grow well in pots with a trellis.
Potatoes are an amazing vegetable to grow with children because you don’t need a vege patch, potatoes will happily grow in planter bags, pots or containers! Plus, nearly all kids like eating potatoes since they are versatile to cook with. As you start with a seed potato, it’s a little bit like a science experiment, which is lots of fun. Once the seed potatoes have ‘eyes’, you can plant them in a deep bucket or potato bag. Every time the plants reach the surface, cover with more soil. Potatoes are an easy vegetable for kids to learn how to take care of themselves. A good tip is to wait until all the flowers on the potato plant have nearly died back before harvesting your potatoes.
Peas are also easy to grow and grow quickly, they can also be grown in pots. They are the most fun to harvest as the kids love shelling them from their pea pods! Peas can be frozen or kept in the refrigerator for about 5 days which makes them perfect for getting the most out of your crop. Choose the sunniest spot in your garden to grow your peas. Plant seeds 2.5cm deep and space 5cm apart. Cover and water.
Carrots are another great option. Carrots love soaking up the sun. When picking the perfect spot to plant yours, find somewhere that gets lots of full sun. Ensuring your carrots have space is one of the most important elements. Bunching your seeds will cause your carrots to fight for space leaving them misshapen and at higher risk of contracting disease or rotting. When sowing use a light hand to sprinkle seeds as thinly as possible. If you are wanting to plant rows of carrots, make sure you leave between 40 and 50cm of space between rows. If you’re planting in a container, ensure your container is at least 30cm deep, giving the roots enough space to develop.
4. Leafy Greens
There are plenty of leafy greens that are fun and easy to grow. Look for the varieties that you eat most as a family, this could be lettuce, mesclun, rocket, silverbeet, spinach, bok choi, kale or you could even add some herbs to your garden and have your kids create planters for them. Leafy greens are quick win crops as they grow and produce reasonably quickly.
5. Cherry Tomatoes
Ok, they’re technically a fruit, but cherry tomatoes are still a great crop to grow with your children. Usually high yielding, producing a heap of little tomatoes that are sweet and delicious. They’ll happily grow in pots or containers and are perfect for snacking, lunchboxes, salads or vegetable kebabs.
Happy in hanging baskets, or plant in garden beds, pots or containers. If you’re short on space, check out some ideas and inspiration on where to grow your strawberry plants here. Strawberries are a family favourite, and kids are bound to get excited growing something that they love to eat! Plant in winter through spring, allowing five plants per person to ensure a bumper crop!