Children are wonderful gardeners. They are observant, intense and their memories are flawless. Unlike myself, who cannot remember where I read that â€œGardens grow children.â€ Children are gifted with the curiosity of youth.
Growing a garden together can be a true reminder of the awesome world we live in. What to grow and how to grow your garden is part of the fun. I have fond memories of growing marigolds from seed to give my Mom on Motherâ€™s Day in school. Oh, what excitement and wonder as we watched it grow.
It doesnâ€™t matter whether you start by growing your plants in a container or a little plot of soil. It is the experience that matters.
Cultivate the childrenâ€™s garden right along the grownups’. Purchasing your children their own tools makes the experience easier for them. (Stay away from the toy sets; they will only break and cause frustration.)
In the beginning I have always started with vegetables the children like and those that are easy to grow and fun to pick.
Here are some of my favorites:
Cherry tomatoes – you know, the small ones that are used in salads or on vegetable trays.
Cucumbers -Â you can get bush variety. This means they grow like a little bush instead of having far reaching vines that easily may take over your garden. Do you like to eat fresh cucumbers during the summer? Or do you like pickles? You can plant both types.
Bush beans -Â varieties such as Tenderette are a wonderful childrenâ€™s bean – they are easy to grow and easy to pick.
Snow Peas – the fence or trellis that you have placed for your tomato mates is great for multiple use to supply your snow pea plants a place to hold on to. They are also a lot of fun to grow upside down.
Don’t forget the flowers:
Giant sunflowers are a must – they provide fun and food.
Marigolds – these little flowers come in a wild variety of shapes and sizes, plus ward off bad bugs.
Gardening with children may take patience, understanding and some behind-the-scenes help, but it is well worth it.
Editor’s Note: This is a re-post of an article that first appeared May 13, 2010.