Easy Plants for Kids to Grow
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The Criteria for Plant Selection
In order to get kids to enjoy gardening, a few considerations should be made when selecting plants. They should germinate quickly to keep those short attention spans occupied, produce a crop quickly and require minimum maintenance other than watering and feeding. Luckily, there are many plants that fit these criteria.
Snap peas are a quick-growing early crop. It's fun for kids to eat these sweet pods right off the vine. They germinate in 10 days are ready to eat in less than 2 months.
These sunny flowers are a must for a child's garden. The seeds germinate in a week and the large varieties will be taller that your child by the end of the summer. Image courtesy of Bren Haas
Radishes are super fast growers. They are harvestable in less than a month! Kids love to see the little red globes popping out of the soil.
These hardy little flowers can take rough handling and still keep going. They are perfect for very young gardeners.
These tomatoes are round, bright and sweet; a perfect combination for kids. Cherry tomatoes are prolific growers, so they will keep kids interested through out the growing season.
These are by far the most beloved squash for children. Although they are not fast growing, they are definitely interesting for kids to watch over its entire growing season. Pumpkins will have them eagerly awaiting fall!
If your child doesn't like carrots, I bet he or she will after they grow their own. Kids love to harvest carrots. Carrots tend to have a longer growing season, so try some of the smaller varieties like ‘Babette’ or 'Romeo'.
Kids love potatoes! This is a fun one to plant because you use the "eyes" of an existing potato. Come harvest time, your kids will be amazed at the amount of new potatoes that came from the seed potato.
Green beans (the bush variety) are fast growing and have high yields. Because they do not grow tall, they are easy for kids to harvest. Kids also love the "snap" of the beans.
Lettuces are quick and reliable crops to give the child fast results. Try growing a mesclun mix; they can be harvested in less than a month. This is a great way to get your kids to eat salads.
Snapdragon adds bright pops of color to your child's garden. The blooms are sturdy and it's fun for children to pinch to make the "mouth" open and close. Plus, it's a fun name!
Cucumbers are fast and reliable growers. They are easy to harvest and really do not require special attention once they are established. When its time for picking, your kids will have a great time hunting through the plant's lush leaves for cucumbers.
This popular summer squash is a known super-producer. Although somewhat prone to a few pests, zucchini is easy to grow. Once they get going, they don't need much. You and your kids will have a blast making a batch of zucchini bread after the harvest!