Creating a love and knowledge of gardening is a wonderful thing to cultivate in children. Kids love growing, especially when they see results quickly and easily. These vegetables are our top choices to encourage gardening with children. They are easy to grow from seed, which means a quick and cheap project that's sure to satisfy.
Sugar snap peas: Get your garden going early in the season with sugar snap peas. These crispy vegetables will be one of the first ready to harvest in very early spring. The sweet tasting peas can be eaten straight off the vine, and the hulls are tender and sweet.
Radish: The quickest maturing of the cole crops, radishes are ready to be harvested about 30 days from the time you plant your seeds. Kids are often delighted and amazed at the difference between the radish seed and the fruit it produces. They may or may not enjoy eating the peppery vegetable raw, but they will love the experience.
Pumpkins : From small to large, pumpkins are loved no matter which size. Plant these fun vegetables in the late summer for a fall crop. We recommend planting some for carving and some small ones for the best results in baking.
Cucumbers: This cool and crunchy vegetable is a great addition to a kid’s garden. Given a support, cucumbers are a very easy vine to grow from seed. They generally take 50-70 days from planting to production, but they are well worth the wait. Be aware the cucumbers hate frost, so plant seeds once all danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed up. If you’d like to get a get a head start on your garden, cucumbers are a wonderful plant for children to start indoors up to 3 weeks before planting outside.
Watermelon: Nearly every child loves melons, especially watermelons. These delicious summer fruits are much easier to grow than you may realize. The vines do not need support; they can grow right on the ground. Make sure they get plenty of water and sunlight. However, do be aware that the vines grow quickly and densely, and can therefore overtake and choke out other plants. Plan ahead! Seeds can be started in a small container or pot and transplanted out after frost, or can be started from seed planted right in the ground after all danger of frost has passed.
Beans: Beans are one of the easiest plants to grow from seed, and they are the perfect plant to observe the growth cycle of a plant. Whether you choose a bush or a vining variety, beans will grow quickly and easily once the warm weather is here to stay. As an added bonus, “eat your beans” becomes much more fun when you grow them yourself!