12 Easy And Fun Plants For Kids To Grow
There are certain things parents are expected to teach their children; how to balance a checkbook, load a dishwasher, and cook a decent meal.
Why not extend their knowledge? They shouldn’t just be able to cook food, they should be able to grow it.
They should have fingernails full of dirt and baskets filled with tomatoes, potatoes, and corn.
Not only will it save them money and give them valuable life skills, it will be a memory they can look back on and smile.
So here are twelve plants that every child and adult can plant and grow in the coming months.
1. Snow peas
Cooler weather is required when growing snow peas, so bundle up in a nice hoodie and trek out with your little one and a bag full of seeds.
After all, if they plant them, they can’t be yucky right. Snow peas prefer to be grown in full sun in fertile, well-drained soil.
It’s best to pick the plants when they are very young, but if you miss that stage no worries.
They can still be picked and shelled, but the pods will no longer be edible. If you are looking for the most bang for your buck, you’ll want to use a trellis to grow your peas as it will deliver the most plentiful harvest.
2. Cherry Tomatoes
To give your tomatoes the best chance, you’ll want to mix a starter fertilizer into your soil.
You’ll want to plant them in the late spring and early summer. Tomatoes will also prosper when grown with a trellis or cage.
Your kids will love watching the vines creep and crawl over the railings of the trellis as small green tomatoes morph into succulent red cherry tomatoes ready to be plucked, washed, and eaten.
In my opinion, tomatoes are one of, if not the best vegetable to grow in your garden. They can be eaten plain, mixed into salads or soups, and even mashed up into a salsa or sauce. (Can you tell they’re my favorite…)
Depending on the variety of potato you prefer, they can be planted between February and May which means you’ll be harvesting them between May and October.
The first step to planting potatoes is to chit them. This means letting them sit in the sun until their eyes begin to sprout.
While your child may think the potato is growing arms and legs, assure them that this is completely natural and they do not need to name their potato.
Plant the seed potatoes about a foot apart from each other and six inches deep. Water them once a week, when the stems begin to grow, mound the soil around them.
After about eighty days, it’s time for the treasure hunt. Yes, potatoes will not grow about the soil which means your manicure is about to go out the window.
The kids will love the digging, and will see that it was well worth the eighty day wait to grow and eat their own potatoes.
You have not had strawberries until you’ve had fresh from the dirt strawberries.
Grocery store strawberries don’t hold a match, let alone a candle to home-grown strawberries.
Check your variety or packaging to see how far about they should be planted, this could be anywhere from six to eighteen inches apart.
They will also need watered daily. Be sure not to bury the crown, if the crown does not receive proper sunlight and fresh air, it will rot.
Adding mulch will keep moisture in the soil and keep your plants clean.
They should bloom in the early spring, once they do your garden will be visited by pollinating insects such as bees.
Don’t shoo these buzzing insects away, your strawberries need them in order to be pollinated.
Your berries will ripen about thirty days after your blossoms are fertilized.
Why bother with the pumpkin patch when you can grow your own…well maybe go to the patch for the zip line, but grow your own fat soon-to-be jack o’lanterns right in your back yard.
In order to have them ready by Halloween, plant your seeds in the middle of summer.
You’ll need plenty of sun and a lot of room for their vines. Soak your soil the day before and plant the seeds about one to two inches down or until you feel moist soil.
After that, it’s a matter of you checking the soil beneath your pumpkin, if it’s dry, water it until you see puddles forming.
Pumpkins can be up to 90% water, so don’t be stingy. Avoid heavy insecticides when gardening, you’ll need a few of those bugs, bees in particular to pollinate your plants.
Now it’s just a matter of waiting until it reaches maturity.
Radishes are considered to be the easiest and fastest plant to grow so if your kids are hesitant to garden, maybe try this one first to give them a bit of a confidence boost and let them see not immediate, but quick gratification.
They can take as few as twenty-one days to harvest. For best results, plant when the weather is still cool and deliver continuous moisture.
Because of their quick growth, it can be hard to know when to sow them. Radishes left in the ground too long will be useless as food, the most efficient way to determine when to harvest is to push back your soil, pluck a bulb or two, and taste.
If they are crisp with a slight zing, then they are ready to be picked.
The new super fruit; nutritious and flavorful avocados are actually quite easy to grow on your own.
All you need is the pit; don’t remove the skin, toothpicks, and a cup of water. Once the pit is cleaned of any leftover fruit, you must identify the top and bottom.
The top will be slightly pointed, whereas the bottom will be flat. Take four toothpicks and angle them downward into the seed.
Be sure to wedge them firmly. Now place the bottom into a cup full of water so that the bottom half is submerged.
Your toothpicks will prevent the seed from falling into the cup. Change the water every five to seven days to prevent fungus and rot.
Depending on your luck, the avocado will sprout in two to eight weeks. The top will crack and a root will grow, when the stem is roughly six inches long, cut it back down to three inches.
When it returns to six inches, pot it in humus soil, leaving the top half visible and place on a sunny ledge or windowsill.
Water it frequently, but don’t over saturate. If your leaves are yellowing, you’re giving it too much.
It’s just a matter of pruning and waiting for your fruit to develop now. Once it’s grown, enjoy some humus and chips and begin again.
While not as edible as the veggies which will also be on this list, sunflowers are easy to plant and grow.
They are abnormally strong and can grow nearly anywhere as long as they are in locations with plenty of sun.
Keep in mind, that sunflowers may attract birds who then feed on their seeds. There’s no harm in this, but the resulting seed hulls are toxic and will kill any grass beneath it.
So if you and your child are planting sunflowers, keep them separate from other flowers and vegetables.
9. California Poppies
If veggies aren’t your style and you’re just looking for something to accent your lawn, California Poppies may be just up your alley.
These vibrant yellow, orange, and red flowers require full sunlight and between fifty and seventy-five days to mature.
They are drought-tolerant and can thrive in pots, gardens, and mixed beds.
If you’re needing a no fuss plant, look into planting Marigolds. They will thrive in any soil so long as it’s not soggy and even prefer soil that would be considered poor for other plants.
When planted next to vegetables, Marigolds will actually repel pests with their scent and even repel underground insects such as nematodes for up to three years.
Marigolds are also considered edible and while I’ve never tasted one I’m told they make a tangy garnish with boiled eggs and steamed vegetables.
Pansies are the rainbow of the plant world. Depending on the variety you choose, you can have nearly every color of the rainbow; blue, orange, pink, purple, red, and yellow can all be grown in your very own garden.
They are an annual flower and resilient in cool temperatures. They need regular watering and general fertilizer to help them grow and give them longer life.
12. Venus Fly Trap
Give your kid bragging rights with one of the coolest plants on the planet. If you don’t leave in the boggy areas of North and South Carolina, never fear.
The Venus Fly Trap can be grown in a terrarium which can be stored indoors during the cold winter months and sweltering summers.
You’ll need to mix 1/3 sand and 2/3 peat moss which will afford the greatest drainage and moisture retention.
They do best in bright light, but give it partial shade if you’re growing yours under glass.
If their mouths don’t have a pink interior they’re not getting enough sun. Rain or distilled water is best as tap water tends to be too alkaline for their systems.
If your Venus Fly trap is outside, it will come by its food naturally. If it is indoors, small insects that were already hiding in the nooks and crannies of your home will be sufficient food.
Venus Fly Traps can go as long as two months without food.
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