Growing a kid-friendly garden can be a great activity to both entertain and educate your children this summer. While you may consider several different types of garden options, smaller is better for children. Even certain types of plants are better than others because of their varying maturity time and low maintenance requirements. Teaching kids how to garden is a great way to keep them engaged during their vacation, but also to educate them about how to be good stewards of the land.
Tips for a Kids’ Garden
A great container for your first kids’ garden is a 4-by-4-foot wooden box. This size allows for three or four separate growing areas for flowers, fruits, vegetables and even herbs. In the beginning, start out with fewer rather than more plants, to demonstrate how different plants grow and to allow kids to see the results of each one. If possible, plant your garden in a sunny location. If shade is plentiful in your yard, make sure to choose shade-loving plants for optimal growth. When preparing the beds for planting, teach kids how to adopt environmentally conscious gardening habits. Use natural soil amendments and organic weed- and pest-control products. You can even give your children their own mini compost pile to use in future gardening projects.
If you prefer to plant flowers in your junior garden, you will find quite a few suitable choices. Growing alyssum, cosmos, marigolds, morning glories and even sunflowers are great options for kids. Most of these grow quickly, and some, like marigolds, provide a natural pesticide than can help protect the fruit and vegetable areas of the planter. Cosmos, with their wide color variety, add pop to the garden and will definitely increase its visual appeal.
Best Fruits and Vegetables
The one must-have seasonal fruit in a kids’ garden is strawberries. Strawberries are colorful, tasty, easy to grow and they produce fruit throughout the summer. Radishes are great because they mature quickly and kids will probably get a kick out of pulling them out of the earth. They are also at their sweetest when harvested early. If you have the space, another great option for quick growth is zucchini. On the slow side, some favorites include tomatoes, peppers and pumpkins. The key is to balance fast-growing with slow-growing plants to provide results quick enough for kids to maintain interest while looking forward to the maturity of the slower-growing options. This combination is sure to generate both excitement and practice in developing patience.
Growing a garden can be a rewarding experience for both kids and adults. Learning about nature and knowing where your food comes from is important for everyone. Contact the experts at Millcreek Gardens in Salt Lake City for all your planting needs and for help with starting your very own kid-friendly garden.