A family garden is more than just a way to teach kids about nature. It’s also a great way to get them excited about food. There are plenty of fun, easy to grow, and delicious plants to help kids develop their green thumbs.
Here are our 5 favorite ‘Best Of’ garden plants that will add some color, flavor, fun and excitement to your family garden – and table.
Radishes are a great first plant because they only take 4-6 weeks to harvest. You can see the fruits of your labor before younger children lose interest. Radishes grow well early in the season and can be seeded multiple times, giving children an opportunity to refine their growing skills. It also creates a few extra opportunities for the fresh crunch and spicy taste of these easy to grow veggies to grow on them.
With their hippy-inspired color palette and fresh, crisp flavor, Tie Dye Peppers are a great addition to any garden. The secret is to start seeding early. Peppers require a longer growing season, typically 90 days, so your new peppers can provide a summer-long activity as well as a delicious late summer snack.
Pumpkins have a longer growth cycle, usually 100 days, and require direct sunlight. It’s a great idea to plant them during the summer if you are looking forward to fall crafts. From bird houses to jack-o-lanterns, pumpkins provide a lot of opportunities for fun after the growing season. Children love watching the plants mature on the vine and once the fruit is ready, you can explore the latest pumpkin treat or roast the pumpkin seeds for a classic family-friendly snack.
One of the best parts of growing beans is watching the young stem emerge from the seed coat. There are many varieties of Green Beans to choose from. Bush Beans will reach 1 – 2 feet in about 7 or 8 weeks. Or if you’re looking for something in the climbing variety, try Pole Beans. With a tower or trellis, Pole Beans will reach 8 – 10 feet in 12 weeks. Both varieties can be started in small indoor pots and transplanted to outdoor grow boxes or directly into the ground. Beans are great educational plants. The growing experience is visible so kids will be able to learn the parts of the plant and watch the entire growing process.
Not only are carrots the universal snack of kids everywhere, they grow quickly so you can grow multiple crops in a season. Carrot seeds can begin germinating in cooler temperatures, so they are a great plant to start early in the season. Few things are more exciting than watching a child pull their first carrot from the soil – especially when they see how big the carrots have grown underground. Growing root vegetables is like a garden treasure hunt.
Growing your own food is a great way for kids to cultivate a better understanding of nature and learn to love their veggies and the soil that they grow in.
To learn more about what makes soils healthy read Why Soil Matters.