Gardening with kids – Teaching your kids to grow simple, edible crops
How to get started and produce edible results quickly
By: totanaliz on: Sun 10 of Jun, 2007 [17:34 UTC] (1792 reads)
My boys love pottering in the garden and planting “their” plants in small pots. It´s an added bonus if they produce anything edible, although I find that it is not so much “green fingers” in our house as mucky ones!
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Here are some ideas for growing things with your kids. You´d be amazed at the results that even a four or five year old can produce with a bit of help and a lot of prompting ( to water regularly).
- Look for plants with a quick germination period and that crop rapidly. Kids don´t have the patience to wait months for the results.
- Plant things in rotation so that different crops will be ready at different times, that way there is always something happening to stimulate their interest.
- If space is limited or you only have a terrace or balcony, let your child have their own grow bag. Even a couple of varieties of plants can thrive in this. And if you don´t even have space for that, consider trailing varieties of plants such as beans and tomatoes. These can be grown in hanging baskets.
- Look for gardening kits at the nursery or store, which are designed to make it easy to grow one type of product. So far I have tried a mushroom kit ( a lot of watering, but we did produce 2 crops of mushrooms before we gave up!), a potato kit and a strawberry planter.
- Cut and grow again salad crops are ideal, as are herbs, as you can just snip off what you need and the plants keep on growing!
- Radishes germinate very quickly and crop in a couple of weeks. Even if you don´t like the taste, at least you can get quick results!
- If you have a larger garden, a couple of rhubarb plants or “crowns” grow rapidly. Make sure that your kids don´t eat the leaves, as they are poisonous. Also make sure that they wash their hands after handling the plants. You can use the stems to make jam, rhubarb fool or stewed fruit.
- If you have the space and a little more cash to spare for the project, buy a fruit tree. The more mature they are, the more expensive to buy, but you will get fruit more quickly.Look for self pollinating trees unless you have the space for more than one tree of each variety. The tree will grow with your child and they will have their own personal supply of fruit!
Remember that you only need the basics to start gardening with your kids. A rake, a small trowel, a watering can, some pots and some sturdy shoes or wellies. It doesn´t need to cost a lot and the benefits are numerous – fresh air, fresh food and a real sense of achievement for the young gardner.