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Easy peasy spring gardening projects for kids

Posted on March 19 2019

Easy peasy spring gardening projects for kids

There are few things in life that go together better than kids and dirt. Take advantage of that natural attraction to get your little ones involved in some easy garden projects.

Sheena Eaton runs the children’s programming at the Queen Anne Farmers Market in Seattle and is mom to Kieran (6) and Finlay (4). She shares some insight on gardening with kids and tips to get started. Green thumb, optional!

Where do you recommend gardening newbies start?

Your local farmer’s market is a great place to look for gardening inspiration. Take the kids to check out the vegetables for sale --  most things the farmers have grown you should be able to grow.

Pick out vegetable seeds or plants that your kids will like to eat and a few wild cards. You might be surprised what kids will try if they plant it and tend to it themselves.

What kinds of plants are especially good for pint-sized gardeners?

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Root vegetables. Because they're underground it's a surprise every time you harvest. Carrot, radish and beet seeds can be bought in colourful variety packets. Kids love to eat the rainbow!
  • Strawberries. They’re often hidden in the foliage so picking them is like a treasure hunt. Plus they're perennial and propagate easily.
  • Anything that can be harvested over and over again (kale, lettuce, spinach, chard, etc. and herbs like chives, mint). Any kid four and up can be responsible for harvesting tonight's salad or garnish (just teach them to start harvesting from the bottom of the plant for leafy greens).
  • Peas. They're easy to plant, fun to pick and nothing tastes sweeter than fresh peas right out of the pod.
  • Garlic. Big cloves makes for easy planting with small clumsy hands.

What are some best plant picks for apartment or condo dwellers?

You can grow almost anything in a pot. Herbs grow well in a sunny window. If you have a balcony you can have all kinds of things: blueberries, tomatoes, potatoes.

What about flowers?

Of course, not everyone wants to grow food. Kids will love visiting their local nursery or grocery store to help you pick out plants for a colourful container or hanging basket.

The rule of thumb on selecting plants for containers: thriller (one “star plant”), filler (a few smaller complementary plants) and spiller (one or two trailing or creeping plants that cascade over the edge).

Sheena, thanks for sharing your beautiful and delicious hobby. We hope our readers feel inspired to get their hands dirty with their own families.

Check out Eaton on Instagram @monpetitchou_gardening and Queen Anne Farmers Market at qafm.org.

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