Getting kids interested in gardening is very easy because there are so many things they can do, and they are natural gardeners because they’re curious and they love to play in the dirt.
Here are few crops to try out.
They are good because they give kids fast results!
A must for a child’s garden because they germinate and grow so fast. They will sprout in about 1 week, become a small seedling in 2 weeks, and should be around 2-3 feet (1 m) tall in a month.
Another fast crop that gives kids fast results, and it’s also a good way to interest kids in salads.
Germinate in 3-10 days, and have a very short growing season of 20-30 days.
They take about 10 days to germinate and mature in about 60 days. They are also fun for kids to eat right off the vine.
These may be the most fun crop for kids, aside from strawberries.
These flowers are easy to grow and they bloom about 50 days after the seeds are planted, with orange, yellow and red flowers. The flowers are also edible, and can be used to add color to a fresh garden salad.
Fast, easy, high yield and, because they do not grow tall, they are easy for kids to harvest. Bush beans germinate in 4-8 days, and mature in 40-65 days.
If you have the room! Seeds will sprout in about 1 week; after a few days, vine leaves begin to form and creep along the ground. Pumpkins take 80 – 120 days to harvest
A Few Tips for gardening with children
1. Give them their own garden beds or area to work in.
2. Give them serious children-sized tools. Cheap plastic child’s gardening tools are worse than no tools at all; they break easily and frustrate the user.
3. Engage them through the entire process, from seed to table. Children learn better when they understand the context of their activity. They will learn that gardening can be fun, but far more than idle play; they are contributing to the family well-being.
4. Start from seeds. While it’s a convenient shortcut to buy starters, children will learn more by seeing the growing process as it begins with seeds. The care given to sprouting seeds and nurturing the young seedling are a valuable part of the gardening experience.
5. When all else fails, make a scarecrow. The best time to engage children in gardening is when they’re in the mood for this activity. If their attention wanes, or the garden tasks become boring, let them build a scarecrow. This activity is still a contribution to the gardening effort and adds another layer of interest to the garden scene. It also reminds the child of the importance of the crop.
6. Show off their work. When giving ‘garden tours’ to friends, be sure to point out the children’s beds. Take a photo of their harvest and send it to the grandparents. The attention given to their work is the best motivator for children to stay involved with a project.
Have great week!