The season is finally changing and for those with green thumbs, they’re already prepping and planning for their summer vegetable gardens. A garden is a great way to save money, control the quality of your produce, and get the whole family involved. Many believe that a child will be more interested in eating their vegetables if they grow them themselves. Is there a better reason to get planting with your kids this spring?
There are several plants that grow great in a container. This is a simple way to garden without needing an entire bed. Here are five great plants your child could grow this summer.
One of the easiest edible plant to grow is herbs. A great way to introduce fresh herbs to your kids is to grow a “pizza garden.” A container full of parsley, mint, basil, oregano and rosemary is a really fun way to get kids excited about fresh food. When you’re inside preparing a homemade pizza, the kids can go cut all the fresh herbs that will make their pizza taste amazing. They’ll have a blast rolling out our Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough, too.
Another fun option for kids to grow is potatoes. About.com explains that the trick to growing potatoes in a container is to be very diligent about watering. The soil needs to stay damp at all times — another great task for your little gardeners as they tend to their plants. The experts say potatoes actually grow pretty quickly, so your little gardeners won’t have to wait long to taste the fruits of their labor. They could help make these Microwave Potato Chips with their first harvest.
Summer squash is a great vegetable for containers and one that kids probably don’t know is tasty. The yellow vegetable is colorful and can come in really silly shapes. But as it’s a summer vegetable, it pairs wonderfully with anything from the grill. Another fun option is to slice the squash like fries and bake them like potatoes. The kids could fake-out their friends or siblings as they enjoy one of the best tastes of summer. Have them try these Zucchini Shoestring Fries with your next burger.
Tomatoes are a perfect container plant. These are extra fun as the kids may really enjoy picking the fruit and eating it directly from the vine. This sort of snack sneaking, especially with cherry tomatoes, is probably acceptable from any parent. The tomatoes will go great with the kids’ pizza garden, either sliced on top or in this Classic Marinara Sauce.
Speaking of salad, plenty of greens grow beautifully in containers. Lettuce, chard, and Asian greens can all share a space and supply you with salad ingredients all summer long. Most greens grow big and fast, making it possible for your kids to “harvest” their bounty nearly every night. Some plants grow slower and the reward for their effort seems minimal. With the greens, kids will reap results quickly and stay excited about growing all summer long. Show your kids there is more to greens than salad with these Quinoa and Turkey Wraps.
Seeds are inexpensive and containers could be as simple as a five-gallon bucket. The experience may not go perfectly as there are some learning curves. However, generally speaking, putting your kids in charge of growing food is a great way for them to get excited about healthy vegetables, teach about sustainable living, and hopefully get them excited about responsible and healthy lifestyles.