The Q&A Archives: Plants For Beginner Gardeners

Question: What can I plant with my 5-year-old that is easy to grow and low-maintenance?

Answer: Choose things that are quick to germinate and grow or that have sensory delights for children. Radishes germinate easily, mature quickly (about 20 to 25 days), and kids seem to love to pull them out of the ground. There's an 'Easter Egg' blend with round radishes in an assortment of colors. Sweet peas are extremely fragrant and pretty. (Soak the seeds in water overnight for easier germination.) Sunflowers and hollyhocks are magical.

You might want to use some transplants also. Try bedding plants such as lamb's ears (which are soft and wooly), pansies, and Johnny jump-ups (their little faces are fun). Chocolate mint is an easy-to-grow herb. In fact, all mints are so easy to grow and invasive that they are best planted in containers submerged in the garden (unless you want them to take over). Marigolds and cherry tomatoes are other good choices.

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