We love gardening, not only because it allows you to grow your own food, but it’s a great way to get kids outside and give them a better sense of where their food comes from.
Make gardening even more fun for kids by planting a “themed” garden, like a rainbow garden that includes vegetables that will come up in all the colors of the rainbow, a pizza garden that includes veggies your family likes to include on pizza, or a salsa garden that includes everything you need to make your own!
There are also huge benefits to getting your kids hands dirty in the garden, including encouraging healthy eating habits and responsibility. Even the pickiest of eaters won’t be able to resist trying veggies and fruit that they’ve grown themselves.
We’ve curated a list of some of the easiest fruits, veggies and even flowers for your mini green thumb to start growing.
Zucchini, Squash and Pumpkin
These vines grow quickly, produce large edible flowers and look like they came from outer space, with clinging tendrils. Zucchini produce all summer long, while squash and pumpkins give little green thumbs something to look forward to in the fall.
Growing these fascinating wildflowers is good for the environment, and with any luck, they’ll become home to a monarch chrysalis or two. The gorgeous pink flowers of this indigenous plant smell like honey—and feel neat, too—and the young pods are edible!
Catnip, Cat Grass and Citronella
Got a kitty at home? Plant some cat grass or catnip in a pot and place it somewhere where your furry friend can enjoy it. Citronella is ideal for deterring pesky mosquitoes.
These cheerful summer flowers are great for a few reasons: They grow quickly, can reach impressive heights and in the fall, produce hundreds of tasty seeds for roasting or sharing with birds and squirrels through the winter.
Go ahead, get dirty—gardening as a family makes it far less of a chore. Perhaps everyone’s favourite, because they’re easy to grow and tend. Tomatoes fair well in containers and produce yummy fruit all summer long. For little fingers and mouths, tiny cherry or grape tomatoes are best.
Cucumbers, pole beans and scarlet runner beans all bloom beautifully, attract pollinators and produce veggies. They also twirl and twine quickly upward, making them perfect choices for small spaces—even in a container on a balcony!
Blooms are needed for a pretty garden and for attracting pollinators. Morning glory and nasturtium are two plants that germinate easily, grow quickly and produce lovely, plentiful flowers all summer and into the fall. Bonus: Nasturtium leaves, buds and flowers are edible.
How about a pizza garden of tomatoes, basil and green peppers? Or a Greek Salad garden planted with tomatoes, cucumbers and oregano? Plant an all-herb pot outdoors or find a dry, sunny spot near the kitchen.