Vegetable Gardening for Children


Vegetable gardening for children creates a dynamic setting where they can learn how to enjoy fresh and wholesome foods straight from the plant or vine. Take the children along the journey of growing vegetables from seed to harvest. They will be amazed at the vibrant colors, sweet aromas and textures coming out of the garden, and they may choose fresh vegetables as a healthy snack more often.

Gardening Lessons and Activities

Teach children about the many varieties of vegetables that they can grow and eat. Make planting charts to log what type of vegetables are growing in the garden and their planting, germination and harvest dates. Make gardening arts and crafts activities, such as worksheets to color and garden signs to mark each vegetable in the garden. Purchase vegetable seeds, gardening tools and soil enhancements with the children to get started with your vegetable gardening.

Plant Early Vegetables

Some vegetables germinate and grow rapidly and can be harvested in less than two months. Plant fast-growing vegetables to keep the children excited about their work in the garden. Start your seeds in containers or directly plant them in the garden if the weather is warm enough outside. Plant early vegetables, including lettuce, radishes and beans, with the children, and guide them on how deep to plant them and how far apart to space each seed.

Plant Late Vegetables

Vary your garden selection with vegetables that will be ready for harvest near the end of the growing season. Some vegetables, such as corn, pumpkins and other squashes, mature much later in the growing season. Plant these vegetables with the children along with the early vegetables.

Transplanting Vegetables

Plant your seedlings in the garden when they reach 2 to 4 inches in height if you started them in pots. This is a hands-on activity that the children will enjoy. Mark a spot in the garden for each seedling and then dig holes in the garden with the children. Carefully take the delicate plant out of the pot and place it in the ground. Have each child get his hands dirty by covering the base of each seedling with soil and then watering the plant. Make watering the garden a regular task for the children to promote healthy and strong vegetables.

Harvest and Enjoy

When it is time to harvest the vegetables from the garden, the children will feel a sense of joy and accomplishment about their hard work. Give the children a basket and show them how to carefully pick vegetables in the garden. Eat the vegetables raw, cook them in a meal and share some of the fresh vegetables with other families and friends.

Keywords: vegetable gardening children, children and gardening, gardening fun

About this Author

Naima Manal's articles on health, diet, nutrition, alternative medicine, education, parenting, crafts, travel, home and garden and home improvement have appeared on eHow, Garden Guides, Trails, ConnectED, Helium and others. Manal received her B.S. degree in biology/pre-medical studies from Molloy College in 1994 and has been a freelance writer, teacher and homeschooling mom since 1993.