There are many reasons to introduce your children to the joys of gardening. They will enjoy digging in the dirt and taking great pride in the vegetables or flowers they grow. When they receive praise from others, it helps build their sense that they can accomplish good things.
You will also love gardening with your child because you are creating happy memories together.
Consider plants that thrive without a lot of care when choosing plants for your children to grow. You also need to select ones that will thrive in your environment.
Sunflowers grow well in zones 4 to 9. You can find annual and perennial varieties, with most getting between 3-and-10-feet tall. These sun-loving plants that bloom mid-summer to early fall like slightly acidic, well-drained soil. You may even want to have fun with your children by harvesting the seeds or let them go to seed and watch as the animals and birds gobble them up in the fall.
There are four main types of marigolds, with each type offering many different varieties. French marigolds are sun-loving plants that grow to be about 9-inches tall in zones 2 to 11. They put on single, semi-double, or crested flowers mid-summer that will last until fall. Marsh marigolds grow to be about 18-inches tall in zones 3 to 7. This plant that prefers some afternoon shade in warmer climates puts on buttercup-like flowers in the spring that last until early summer. Sun-loving African marigolds grow to be about 2.5-feet-tall in zones 2 to 11. The large, double flowerheads on these flowers can be white, orange, or yellow, and they appear in mid-summer and last to fall. Pot marigolds thrive in zones 2 to 11. Blooming from May to June, these marigolds thrive in sunny locations.
Cherry tomatoes grow well in zones 3 to 10. Cherry tomatoes need some shade during the day to thrive. Plant them in well-drained soil that has a pH balance between 6.2 and 6.5. There are many different varieties, so look for ones that thrive in your environment.
Regardless of where you live, you can find a type of green bean that your children will love growing. Bush beans usually get to be about 16-inches tall, and your family can generally harvest the beans in six to seven weeks. You can harvest these beans for about three weeks. Pole beans often grow up to 10-feet tall with support. Your children can harvest their beans in about 11 weeks, and they can keep harvesting them for about seven weeks.
You can find carrots that will grow in almost any zone but be sure to watch the days to mature if you live in colder climates. Carrots love the sun and deep soil. In many south regions, it gets too hot in the summer for carrots to grow, so plant them in the early spring and again in the fall. If you do not have deep soil, consider growing carrots in a container or growing shorter varieties.
Snapdragons grow in zones 7 to 10. One of the reasons your kids will love growing them is that they start blooming in April and keep blooming until it freezes. Choose the type of snapdragon that is best for your area. Dwarf snapdragons grow to be about 10-inches tall while tall snapdragons can grow to 3-feet tall. You can also find choices in the middle. These flowers are available in white, yellows, pinks and purples put on dragon-shaped tubular flowers with two lips.
If you want to encourage your children to eat greens, consider letting them grow lettuce. You can grow lettuce if the ground temperature is above 40 degrees. You can find four main types of lettuce. Leaf lettuce is an excellent choice for young children as you can start harvesting it in about three weeks. Butterhead types form loose heads. It will take romaine lettuce about 70 days to mature while crispheads take about 80 days.
Nasturtiums are a fun, sun-loving flower for kids to grow. Depending on the variety, they can grow from 12-inches to 10-feet tall, so choose the one that fits your environment the best. Funnel-shaped flowers will appear mid-spring and last until fall. Butterflies are often attracted to this plant, which can add a whole new level of excitement for your kids.
Many children enjoy growing milkweed because of the way that this plant that grows to be about 30-inches-tall changes throughout the growing season. Drooping clusters of white, mauve or pink flowers appear on this sun-loving plant in the summer. After the flowers fade in the early fall, this plant puts on seedpods, which will eventually split open and disperse seeds if not collected.
Petunias are an easy plant for kids to grow because they require very little care. This plant grows well in zones 9 to 11, depending on the variety chosen. Most stay under 12-inches tall. Generally, they prefer to get sun all the time but will tolerate some shade. Single or double flowers appear in late spring and last until fall.
There are over 35 different varieties of coneflowers, with new hybrids being introduced annually. These plants put on daisy-like flowers in the spring, with the older types, such as the purple coneflower, being more reliable for kids to grow. You can find them in a variety of colors. Most of these sun-loving plants will grow to be about 2-feet tall.
You will have a great time gardening with your child. Choose plants like these that are easy to grow and watch your child’s interest increase.