How to Grow Vegetables for Kids

Overview

Getting kids active in the garden is a sure way to teach them about the plants around them and increase their appreciation of the outdoors. Let them be part of the decision making process and take part in regular care, and children of all ages can enjoy time in the garden. When kids are included, they take ownership in the garden and get a sense of pride with each vegetable they pick and eat.

Step 1

Talk with the kids about the types of vegetables they like to eat. Make a list of those vegetables. Steer the children toward the easy-to-grow vegetables such as beans, squash, potatoes and tomatoes. Determine from this list what they can grow, and go over planning the garden with children.

Step 2

Select an area in the garden to be their vegetable section. Teach them about the importance of loose soil as you all dig the bed and break up clumps. Have the children cover the bed with garden soil or compost, and blend the ingredients.

Step 3

Let them plant seeds and/or seedlings, depending on the types of plants they have chosen. Add markers to show what is planted and where.

Step 4

Have the children help you water the plants, teaching them to water at the base of the plants rather than the top. Look for weeds and have the kids pull or dig them out of the soil.

Step 5

Assign different jobs to the kids so they know their duties. Allow them to do some of their chores freely with little supervision. As they work independently on foolproof tasks, you can do other garden maintenance.

Step 6

Harvest vegetables when they are ripe. Sowing the children how to distinguish ripe from unripe, and how to pull vegetables from the plants without damaging the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Child-size tools (shovel, hoe, hand trowel)
  • Garden soil or compost
  • Seeds or seedlings
  • Plant markers or ice cream sticks

References

  • "Vegetable Gardening: Your Ultimate Guide"; Robert J. Dolezal; 2000
  • "Growing Fruit and Vegetables;" Richard Bird; 2003

Who Can Help

  • More on growing vegetables with kids
Keywords: children's vegetable garden, growing vegetables, children and gardening

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for WidescreenWarrior.com as a contributor and podcast co-host.