"That orange-en one over there, the MARY-gold. And that red one…" were the directions I received at the garden centre from my then 3.5 year old daughter.
We were on a mission to pick up some flowers and in order to keep her an enthusiastic shopper I had agreed that Lauren could have her very own spot in the garden and could pick out 4 plants.
That afternoon, my mini-Martha planted her very own flower garden, all by herself, digging, planting, watering. That night there were 2 trips out to the garden to "check on my flowers".
I'm a big believer in first-hand experience with kids and mine learn better when they can try something themselves. A mini vegetable or flower garden is such an easy and effective way to teach them about the season, how things grow and also practice independence as they tend to their wee dirt patch or special garden pot.
Gardening with kids is such a great learning experience so last spring momstown included a whole gardening piece in our newsletter with tips from EarthEasy.com so we thought we'd bring the great tips out again here.
Top crops for children:
Sunflower: A must for a child's garden. Plant just one or two, since they take a lot of room.
Lettuce / mescluns: A quick and reliable crop to give the child fast results, and also a good way to interest kids in salads.
Radishes: Quick results for the young gardener (only thing – who wants to eat these?)
Snow peas: A quick-growing early crop, and fun for kids to eat right off the vine.
Cherry tomatoes: Gotta have 'em! These may be the most fun crop for a child
Bush beans: Fast, easy, high yield and fun to harvest.
Carrots: Small varieties are recommended for children, as they're easier to grow and more fun to eat.
Potatoes: A 'never-fail' crop. You can plant red or white varieties; red will mature faster.
Have fun out there in the dirt with your kiddos!
momstown originally published this in 2013