Summer is fast approaching and school will soon be out. Summer break is a great time for the kids to grow their own vegetables. I have several small customers who want to learn how to garden so I suggested a container vegetable garden or a raised bed garden.
single okra plant raised
bed garden herbs
in a decorative container strawberry pot
Notes to Gardeners in Training:
(+) There are a lot of great vegetables to grow and you can be eating your hard work in a few weeks to months.
- Lettuce and spinach can be sown, grown, and enjoyed in as little as 6 weeks (depending upon the variety).
- Corn can be planted from seed and makes a great summer “fence line.” You can eat the corn in the summer and then harvest the corn shocks in the fall for your harvest and Halloween decorating.
- I like to plant squash and watermelon in the flower beds. The long vines can grow between the flowers and it is fun to follow their path.
- Tomatoes and peppers are great in beds or in containers. Eat them right off the vine or use them for dinner.
- You can grow herbs in a strawberry pot.
- Select vegetables and herbs that will create a salad garden, Italian garden, or a salsa garden.
- Use a Topsy-Turvy if space is extremely limited.
(-) You will probably need to water your garden up to twice a day during extremely hot or dry weather. Be sure that the plant gets watered at the roots (not just the leaves). That may sound like a chore! Hopefully by that time your vegetables will be growing quickly. You will want to keep up the watering schedule to see your garden grow. You will also need to keep an eye on your plants and protect them from any birds, bugs, or insects that may try to eat your vegetables before you do!
Most growing vegetables will require a location with at least 6-8 hours of full sun (preferably in the afternoon). You can grow vegetables in a container or planter with good drainage. Use a potting mix with fertilizer and water absorbency for container gardens and select a garden soil for raised beds. Many vegetables, like tomatoes, will provide best results when using a fertilizer specially designed for herbs and vegetables. Larger vegetable varieties like tomatoes and peppers may need to be supported with a stake or cage. Keep an eye out for pests that may damage or destroy your plants or vegetables. But most of all, enjoy the time spent in the garden with your little DIYers. (PS: the kids may actually EAT these vegetables!)
Have you created a garden especially designed for your kids? I’d love to hear about your experiences and I appreciate your great tips for helping our little gardeners.