ParentingFamily Gardening 101: Easy Plants to Grow with Your Kids

Family Gardening 101: Easy Plants to Grow with Your Kids

Gardening offers your family more than just a chance to dig around in the dirt together. And while your kids are reveling in the chance to get good and muddy without any disapproving looks, they’re also gaining a number of emotional and psychological benefits. There are lots of easy plants to grow with your kids that are fun and fresh.

Gardening is known to make people happier and healthier, and there’s no better way to create some bonding time with your wee ones. The connection to the earth and the cycle of life can also be a powerful way to help kids feel at home if you’ve recently moved. By adding to the life and beauty of your new space, your children will feel a sense of ownership and pride.

Easy Plants for Kids

If you’re nervous at the prospect of gardening, don’t be. You don’t need a magical green thumb or any special knowledge to create a fun, thriving garden with your children. To make sure you dive into your gardening project with gusto and confidence, here are a few of the easiest plants to grow with your little

Sunflowers: Growing Sunflowers has one of the biggest payoffs with large, bright flowers that can grow anywhere from two feet to over 12. Plus, they grow pretty quickly, so your kids won’t get frustrated or lose interest waiting for something to happen.

Mint: Herbs offer your children a way to experience plants through multiple senses – touch, smell, and taste. Mint grows like a weed and should easily thrive under even the most inexperienced hands.

Encourage your children to smell and taste the leaves. They can even experiment in the kitchen by making some fresh, mint-infused lemonade for Grandma when she comes to visit.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are one of the most rewarding plants. If you start with a seedling, you’re able to see results right away. Make sure to plant in a spot with lots of sun to guarantee a bumper crop of juicy fruits to enjoy straight off the vine or in a creative culinary concoction.

Pumpkins: These are fun for kids to grow, especially with the promise of making a Jack-o’-Lantern from a pumpkin they grew themselves. You do need a bit of space for this crop, so make sure you have ample room before committing to these colorful, fall gourds.

Lettuce: Lettuce is a great choice for children because of how quickly the seeds germinate. It only takes a little over a week to see results. With plenty of water, your seeds will grow into full, leafy heads of lettuce in about 30-45 days.

Petunias: These bright, colorful flowers offer a feast for the eyes and nose. Petunias will bloom all summer long if you regularly tend to the plant by deadheading dying blooms. This is a great way to teach kids about ongoing plant care and maintenance.

Gardens for Small Spaces or Apartments

You don’t have to have a large yard to enjoy the benefits of gardening with your kids. Even if you live in an apartment with limited outdoor space you can still plant a vibrant garden. All you need is a patio, balcony, or even just a sunny window.

Container Gardens: Many plants are suited to life in a decorative pot or flower box. Whether you want to grow flowers, veggies, or herbs you can do it. Make sure to talk to your nursery when deciding what plants do best sharing a container. You can dedicate one container to tomatoes and another to herbs. Brighten up each pot with bursts of color from border or trailing flowers that won’t crowd your primary plants.

Hanging Gardens: If your outdoor space is already crowded, try a hanging garden. Hanging gardens utilize the vertical space in your patio or balcony, that is usually unused. You can use hanging baskets exactly as you would a traditional container. There are also upside down gardens, which are great for vegetables, like tomatoes and beans. The trick to any hanging garden is giving your plants enough moisture. Keep your plants hydrated throughout the day by adding a few ice cubes to each basket before going to work.

Figure out what you want your garden to consist of and dig in with both hands. Find out how fun – and rewarding – it is to create an abundant garden as a family.

Clair Jones is an urban homesteader with a passion for DIY home decor, gourmet cooking, gardening and sustainable living. To see more of her work follow her on Twitter or Google+

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