Growing fruit and vegetables at home is one of the best ways to teach your kids where their food comes from. Not only will they scream for joy when they see the first shoots, they will also be more mindful in later life about what they eat and are likely to take sustainable habits with them into adulthood. It’s easy, fun and immerses them in all the sensations of the natural world.
What are the benefits of getting children involved in gardening?
Inspiring children to enjoy gardening can give them a healthy hobby for life, while offering you, as their parent, the opportunity to spend quality time with them. Gardening also offers many benefits to both young and old, and anyone in between!
Caring for plants could help you relax more than watching TV or playing video games, and it’ll give children an excuse to go outdoors and play in soil and mud. Exposure to dirt is extremely important for them as it can boost their immune system, and soil naturally contains antidepressants that can improve our overall mood.
To start gardening with your children, choose crops that are easy to grow and require minimal care. This way, the kids won’t be disappointed if their hard work doesn’t pay off.
Gather your equipment
Quality gardening equipment is the key to making the whole process as easy and rewarding as possible. For kids just starting out, all you need is a plant pot and plenty of good soil and natural fertiliser.
When they really start to expand their crops and are planting a variety of fruits and vegetables, safeguard their hard work from pests with an array of fruit cages. Perfectly designed to accommodate rows of crops, they offer protection from rabbits, hens and birds so that you can still enjoy your yield!
The best crops for kids
- Cherry tomatoes
Their signature burst and crunchy texture make cherry tomatoes perfect for kids. Fortunately, they’re very easy to grow too! They are very happy to make a humble flower pot their home as long as there is plenty of sunlight. Place your tomatoes in an open area of the garden, exposing them to as much sunlight as possible during the summer months and watch hungry hands pick them off one by one.
Another low maintenance plant is the humble bean. And there are so many varieties to choose from! From runner beans to French beans, broad beans and dwarf beans, they are hardy little growers that can tolerate most weather conditions that Britain throws at them. They grow quickly and kids will marvel at popping them open to reveal their delicious secret.
Another nifty little grower is salad. With a load of varieties available, all of which come in pleasing shades of green and purple, salad needs little input apart from a healthy watering every day. Rocket in particular is very easy to grow and needs little to no cooking preparation. Simply give your salads a wash, throw them in a bowl and enjoy it together with a tasty dressing.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that all kids love strawberries. Plant them in spring and harvest them in May for a pre-summer treat. Best enjoyed with some meringues and a dousing of cream, they’re a sure-fire hit.