Starting a Garden with Children

 

Children are born explorers, and touching the cool earth, planting seeds and watching a plant grow are wonderful lessons in learning where our food comes from. Plus – they get to play in the dirt and not get in trouble for it!

You can plot out an area in your yard or keep it small with a container garden. There are no rules to where you can plant, so don’t be afraid to get creative – half wine barrels, terra-cotta pots and even old cast iron tubs make for fantastic containers.

What to Plant?
When considering what to plant with children, think about how easy it is to plant the seeds, what it looks like as it is growing and, of course, the final product.

Here are some plants that are favorites among children:

Pumpkins
While a small pumpkin patch requires some room for wandering vines, it’s so visually pleasing for children. They’ll also be delighted when October comes around, and they have their very own pumpkin to pick. The seeds are a big enough size, which makes planting simple for children of all ages.

Peas
For a fun and whimsical garden perfect for children, try placing poles around the outer edge of a round garden bed and tie some rope around the poles at the top to hold them in place. Plant your seeds on the outer side of the poles – the magic occurs as the pea plants slowly climb the poles toward the top. If you leave a large enough gap between the poles, your children can have a sweet place for picnics.

Sunflowers
There’s something so endearing about a sunflower plant in the heart of the growing season. They are easy to plant, fun to watch grow and, of course, their seeds are delicious!

Carrots
Carrots have very small seeds, and children will need some guidance when planting, but it’s worth it when harvesting the crop. It’s so much fun to watch your child pull their large carrots out of the soil.

Cherry Tomatoes
These can be purchased as starts (already in a planter) or cultivated from seed. The highlight for this plant is the joy that the children get as the tomatoes ripen. It doesn’t get much better than eating a sun-warmed tomato right off the vine.

Gardening teaches a valuable lesson about how our food is grown, and gives children the chance to experience the entire process right in front of their eyes. Plus, you get delicious and healthy vegetables at the end of all your hard work!

Have you started a garden with your child? If you have, I would love to see pics and hear what kind of garden your child grew!!

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24 Comments

  1. My favorite seeds when I was a kid were nasturtiums. They are still my favorite, even after the mixed colors revert to basic orange and yellow after a few generations. Pumpkins were rad too. I still grow the same rhubarb that I got from my great grandfather before I was in kindergarten.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. To me, the rhubarb is the ‘only’ rhubarb. I have tried some modern cultivars, but find them to be rather insipid. If the rhubarb happens to be in season (or in the freezer) when my Pa comes down from Washington, my Mother makes pies for him. She could probably trade one pie for a new Buick! He really flips for them. No one else makes them like his grandmother used to make them, and with the SAME rhubarb! (I doubt that they are ‘exactly’ the same, but he would never say so.)

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      2. I do not know. My paternal-paternal great grandmother (my Pa’s paternal grandmother) made pies with fruit that was available from the orchards, and rhubarb and a few other fruits from the garden. That meant that we got cherry pies made from sweet cherries. There were no tart cherries available. We did not know any better. I still think that sweet cherry pie is totally excellent, even though it probably is not so good. We also got walnut pie because there were no pecan orchards here.

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      3. Oh Tony, the pies sound delicious, even better they are straight from the orchards. How wonderful to have the acreage to have all those beautiful fruit trees…and walnut…I love walnuts!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Well, that was a very long time ago. The orchards have been gone for a very long time. Millions of people now live where they once were. Fruit trees remain only in the home garden, and they are different varieties. Those that I remember would be weird by modern standards. The apricots and prunes were for drying, so were different from those used in cooking and baking, but we did not know any better. Cherries were meant for fresh eating, but natives cooked with them like cooking cherries. Even the peaches were the cling peaches for canning, but of course, we did what we wanted to do with them, just because they were what we had to work with. The Santa Clara Valley really was an excellent place back then.

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