The Little Allotment: Easy veg to grow with your kids
One of parenting’s ongoing challenges: getting your little ones to eat their vegetables! What better way to tackle this than to have them grow it themselves. For kids, the excitement of planting their own veg, watching it grow and then harvesting it straight onto their plate can be a fantastic memory that might spark a passion that lasts a lifetime. You can create an allotment for your kiddies whether you have a large garden or just a windowsill - all you need is a sunny spot, a container for your soil, and young minds that are ready to get planting. Let's take a look at five easy vegetables that your kids will love to grow and, of course, eat!
It’s rare to find a child who doesn’t love the sweet taste of a cherry tomato. Sometimes it can be a challenge to keep them in their box when eager fingers are lurking during lunch preparations. This is why they make a great plant for kids to nurture (if you don’t mind the fruits not quite making it to the kitchen!). Tomatoes can easily be grown in a pot, in the ground, or in a growbag, providing they are placed in a sunny spot. Your tomato plants will produce a bounty of crops that are perfect for salads, lunchtime snacks and even making your own pasta sauce!
Find out how to grow your tomatoes here.
Another moreish allotment favourite is beans! With a few different variety options - runner beans, climbing French beans and dwarf beans - these will withstand the changing weather and can also be grown in pots. One of the most appealing things for kids choosing to grow beans is that your beans will need something to climb up - a trellis or a bamboo pole - which can be absolutely fascinating as they watch them climb higher day by day. Beans are fast growers and, once ready, can be popped open to reveal the treasures inside. A daily perk that will never get boring!
Head here for how to grow your beans.
One of the more mysterious vegetables - you never know what shape you’re going to get when you grow carrots! With these root vegetables growing below the surface, they can be particularly exciting to grow as your little ones begin to see the first shoots appear. When it is time to pull them up, watch the excitement on their faces as they see the fruits (or should we say vegetables...) of their labour - get them to take guesses on what shape it will be! Carrots are also a hardy vegetable option, surviving in most climates. Why not plant some different coloured carrots too? This can add to the element of surprise.
Learn how to plant carrots here.
Plant a potato… get more potatoes! Potato growing can be really fun for your kids as they wait for stems to start growing on their seed potato, meaning it is ready to be planted. A great benefit of growing potatoes is that they can be grown in grow bags, so you don’t have to have a large vegetable patch to watch them shoot up. They can prove to be a great project for the kids as the growing process does need attention. Plant them in a grow bag or a deep bucket, and when you see the sprouts start to reach the surface, place more soil on top to cover them up. Eventually, your potato plant will grow and once you have let the plant wither and die back, your potatoes are ready to be harvested! These versatile veggies can be cooked in so many ways - making them a brilliant option for enjoying your own produce once harvested.
Head here for potato growing tips.
Another option for a straight-to-the-plate harvest (after a quick wash, of course) is lettuce. This salad favourite comes in all different shapes and colours. It doesn’t need much sun and is fast to grow - planting a few different varieties will make harvesting a fun and exciting time too. This can also be grown indoors, providing it has a nice sunny spot to grow in. Some varieties will even keep growing after being cut - an ongoing supply of salad-y goodness! The only thing you’ll have to do is decide on delicious dressing to complement it...
Find lettuce growing tips here.
The world of vegetables is a big one and these are just five examples of produce that will be kid friendly and that they will enjoy nurturing. The key is to choose veggies that are easy to grow, go from plant fledglings to delicious food fairly quickly, and that your kids will actually enjoy eating. But don’t be restricted to this list - have a search for yourself and discover what other varieties your kids will love to grow - maybe even get them to choose. From microgreens like cress, to sweet fruit like strawberries - get planting, get learning, and have fun!