Spring is either here (or soon to be here) in most parts of the country. And that means it's time to start thinking about your summer harvests!
Whether you have a large patch of soil or a small space where you need to get creative with containers and vertical space, you can garden with your kids.
I don't know about you but when it comes to what to plant, I go to my friends for advice. Thankfully my friend Melissa of Lulu the Baker was more than happy to share what her kids like to grow!
Melissa and I first met IRL ("in real life") in January 2013, when we roomed together in Salt Lake City for Alt Summit. We'd met virtually half a year earlier in an online Alt Channel class; a comment about her then recent discovery that one can order chicks from catalogs endeared her to me forever.
Please extend Melissa a warm welcome!
When my husband and I were first married, we lived in a condo in Las Vegas.
We desperately wanted a garden, so we tried growing tomatoes and flowers on our balcony. Needless to say, it never really worked; we always ended up with crispy, shriveled leaves and not much else!
Now that we live in the lush and fertile Pacific Northwest, we have a bountiful garden every summer.
Top 8 Kid-Friendly Edible Garden Plants
Our kids have always enjoyed tending their own garden beds, and over the years, we've figured out what grows well and easily, and what produces tasty treats that they can eat straight from the ground.
Our top 8 kid-friendly garden plants are...
Peas are easy to grow and look so charming climbing up and twining around a trellis or fence. And the peas themselves are so sweet and fresh, kids can't wait to snap open the pods and eat the plump, delicious little veggies inside.
It took us a few years to master carrots, but now they're our favorite thing to plant! When our kids are playing in the backyard, they love to pull up a carrot or two, wash them off in the hose, and eat a crunchy snack. And there are some really gorgeous, colorful varieties available in shades of yellow, orange, red, and purple.
I have to admit that our kids don't love to eat radishes, but they're one of the fastest-growing garden plants around. They go from seed to harvest in less than a month, so they're about as close to instant gratification as you can get in the garden world.
There's something truly delightful in carving a pumpkin at the end of October that you grew from seed all summer long. You can even help kids carve their names in the flesh while it's still tender and green, and they can watch it grow bigger along with the pumpkin!
When it comes to sunflowers, my motto is The Bigger, The Better! It's amazing to see how tall large varieties of sunflowers get, and our kids love watching them grow taller, taller, taller, until the flowers are several feet taller than the children!
Sadly, our climate just isn't right for watermelon-growing, but that hasn't stopped our kids from begging us every summer to try again. They know what they like!
There have been summers in our garden where we grown-ups never got any fresh, homegrown strawberries because the kids would strip the ripe ones from the plants every single morning! I can't say I blame them--juicy, red strawberries that have been warmed by the summer sun are one of life's simple pleasures.
8. Cherry Tomatoes.
When our oldest was just a tot, she would pull cherry tomatoes off the vine and pop them in her mouth faster than we could pick them! They're so sweet and juicy!
Now is the perfect time to start planting your summer garden! Get your kids involved, and it will become a fun activity that keeps them busy all summer long, with plenty of guilt-free snacking along the way!
How to Get Started Gardening with Your Kids
Hi! It's Eden here again. Now that Melissa's got you excited to dig in the dirt with your little ones you might be wondering where to start. Never fear! I've got you covered.
Credits: All type overlays designed by Melissa Bahen of Lulu the Baker and used with permission on The Road to The Good Life. Images of container snap peas taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.
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