12 EASY PLANTS FOR KIDS
Growing seeds is an amazing activity to do with kids, not only are they entertained for a little while, they are learning so much. They are literally bringing a life into the world with their own hands.
I remember making a ‘Grass Head’ at home growing up and it was my favourite thing, Ever! That’s when I caught the sowing bug and I haven’t looked back.
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EASY PLANTS FOR KIDS TO GROW-FLOWERS
Growing sunflowers is super easy. The seeds are large and easy to handle.
In March, we fill some plastic cups that have a whole in the bottom, with multi-purpose soil.(We recycled these from the local cafe)
The kids put one seed in each cup, and cover lightly with soil, before putting on the window-sill. That seems to be the best place for growing these seeds, although you can grow them outdoors too they just take a little longer to sprout in my experience.
After a week or so you have baby plants.
Look after them carefully, lots of light and keep them damp. Once you see roots coming out of the bottom of the pot, they need to be carefully taken out of their cup and potted into a bigger pot.
Keep doing this until you are ready to pop them outside in the garden. Remember you need to get them used to being outside gradually before they can be planted properly.
When your sunflowers start to grow they might need some support, so push a long sturdy stick into the soil beside the plant and gently tie the sunflower to it to help it stay up straight. Watch out for the roots though.
These plants will get big quick.
Sweet Peas are one of the delights of Summer. They wind up their supports until they reach the top and produce beautiful flowers with a sensational honey smell. The bugs and bees love them as much as i do.
The seeds are large and easy to sow.
In February we use loo roll tubes to sow our seeds in. Just fill them with soil and put 1 seed to each roll. Push the seed down to the first knuckle on your finger and cover lightly.
The seedlings should grow within a few days indoors. You can also sow these seeds in October, if you have some where to keep the plant cool but frost free, and in March outdoors directly into the soil.
Once they get 3 pairs of leaves on the plant. Cut off the very top growing tip. This encourages the plant to produce side shoots. More side shoots = more flowers.
This amazing plant has a dual purpose, It’s a wonderful annual plant which is easy to grow, pretty to look at and great for wildlife. But it is also an edible plant. It’s leaves and flowers are wonderful in a salad. It has a peppery taste similar to watercress. The flowers also has a sweet nectar flavour at the pointed ‘spear’ at the back of the flower. It’s a great one to start kids off with.
Nasturtiums can be grown almost anywhere, pots, up climbing frames or scrambling over flower beds. There is a wide choice of varieties to help you here.
Nasturtiums thrive best in poor soil so no feeding required. We sow the seeds in April into empty loo roll containers, but you can sow them directly into the ground. They grow quickly and will soon cover your pot or patch with beautiful flowers.
EASY PLANTS FOR KIDS TO GROW-FRUIT
Strawberries are one of Summers joys. Once you have tasted a warm sun ripened strawberry right off the plant all shop bought varieties will never be the same. Strawberries are so easy to grow and care for. They don’t need a lot of space, so grow some today!!
All you need are some bare root plants. In Winter, until March, plant them in good nutritious soil up to their necks and firm in well. We have grown some in welly boots, in hanging baskets and back packs! Yes really! i’ve even seen one growing in an old teapot.
A little feeding later in the Spring will ensure you get a good crop of delicious berries.
Raspberries are a delicious treat in early summer as well as Autumn varieties, however the pruning of them can be confusing. We stick to an Autumn variety that we inherited from a neighbour. The fruit comes after our strawberries are finished, and once we’ve had our fill, we just chop the stems to ground level and start all over the next year. A very easy fruit to grow. Just give them a feed in Summer and water well in dry weather and your good to ‘grow’.
Blueberries produce loads of berries, especially if you have 2 plants together to help them pollinate each other. They also have amazing Autumn colour.
These berries are classed as a ‘super fruit’ and is delicious and extremely high in antioxidants. They can be grown in the garden, but also make very popular container plants. Plant them in acidic soil, which you can buy from any garden centre.
They are easy to look after by keeping the compost moist, but not soaking wet, and don’t allow the compost to dry out. If you can, water blueberries with rainwater they would benefit from it.
EASY PLANTS FOR KIDS TO GROW-VEGETABLES
There is nothing nicer than being able to eat fresh peas from a pod. We sow loads of them at our allotment to cook for our dinners. The kids also sow some in pots on the patio, so they can pick them to eat as snacks from the plant. Nothing is sweeter.
We sow them the same way as sweet pea flowers. In loo roll tubes filled with soil. I put one in each tube and leave to grow. We do these outdoors in a mini greenhouse. They don’t need any heat to sprout. We also grow some in long gutters, once they grow, we just slide them off into the soil and water them in. It takes a few weeks for the peas to scramble up the supports we put up. Either bamboo canes or a mesh fence at the plot.
Wait until the flowers fade and the pods grow large and swollen. Then pick them off the plant carefully and munch away. I swear it’s the only time the kids are quiet!!
Sycamore Trading Seed Potatoes MARIS PIPER x 10 Tubers. One of the best known and popular potato varieties on sale today. Often called “the chippies choice” because of its cooking and frying qualities
Everyone loves the humble potato. Kids just love digging through the dark soil looking for their ‘treasure’. They are hugely popular and are an everyday ingredient of many meals in one form or another – baked, mashed, or boiled.
You need to buy special ‘seed’ potatoes (also called tubers) to grow more potatoes, these are just like potatoes you would buy from the supermarket, but will be certified virus-free.
Plant them deep in the soil or pot around 45cm apart and cover with soil. Water well.
When the stems start to grow, start ‘earthing up’ by continuously pulling soil over the top of the growing shoots to produce a ridge of soil. Earthing up protects new foliage from to frost damage . It also protects developing new potatoes from light, which turns the potatoes poisonous.
Pumpkins are fantastic to grow with children. They are easy to grow.
All they need is a sunny position, plenty of water and shelter from cold winds. Pumpkins are an essential part of Halloween, but are incredibly delicious too. Once they grow, they can be harvested, and used for delicious soup, puddings, stews and for roasting.
Pumpkins are best grown from seed indoors, but may be sown outdoors in the spot where they are to grow.
We grow our pumpkins indoors as they need extra heat to start growing. I find it’s better to use old pots or half plastic bottles filled with soil as these seeds need more room to grow. When sowing the seeds, lay the seed on its side.
Sow two seeds 3cm deep in pots of soil in April and put on a windowsill to grow. Otherwise sow outdoors in June and cover with a cloch, jars or plastic bottle; When the seeds grow, cut out the weaker one to let the stronger shoot grow well.
As the fruit starts to grow, Place a flat rock or a tile under the fruit to stop it sitting on the wet soil to rot.
Water well and feed regularly to get the best crop. Harvest and carve for Halloween or when ready to eat.
EASY PLANTS FOR KIDS TO GROW
-BEST OF THE REST
Carrots come in all sorts of colours these days. The orange, red, white and purple. Many different shapes too, look out for round carrots, which are great for pots too. Sow thinly over the soil and lightly cover with soil. It’s best to cover the carrots with a fine mesh to keep pests at bay. Carrots taste best freshly picked from the garden. YUM
Growing your own tomatoes is one of life’s pleasures and pains. Simple to grow and just a couple of plants will give you enough tomatoes for a family all Summer. There are all kinds of tomatoes to try, from tiny cherry varieties which kids love, through to full-flavoured giant beefsteak tomatoes.
Tomatoes come in two different types: cordon tomatoes grow tall and require some sort of support or Bush tomatoes are bushy, and don’t require support.
They are easy to grow from seed. Sow the seeds in small pots indoors in March, place the pots in a plastic bag and keep on a warm windowsill.
As the seedlings grow, pot up into bigger and bigger pots to keep the plant growing well and get it used to going outside for a few weeks before planting it out fully.
These seeds are tiny little black things, trickier for little hands but are worth it. They are glorious poppies and come in a variety of colours and are beautiful in a pot or garden. Daintylittle flowers that have ferny foilage and the bugs love them.
They will thrive in poor, well-drained soil and they need full sun for the flowers to open. Sow in mid Spring directly where they are to grow and watch them flourish. I like to sprinkle them in the gravel around my home. They are stunning.
So that’s it! 12 Wonderful plants to start you off. Where will you start? Leave me a comment and let me know what your growing? what do you love in your garden?
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