Spring and Summer Vegetable Garden for you and Your Kids to Grow Together
What Kind Of Plants Shall We Choose?
Children love to plant gardens. There are various plants that are easy to plant and come up quickly, and others that are not so easy and become discouraging for them to wait for, and then some that you will be lucky if they sprout at all. Certain vegetables grow in bright sunlight only, where others that don't matter if they are in partial shade.
If you have considered planting a home garden with your kids, let me give you some tips, and also a list of vegetables that come up fast, can be picked and keep right on producing and growing through the spring and summer months for them to pick and enjoy.
First, I will give you a list of easy to plant, easy to grow vegetables, that are good for kids to be able to do themselves. Quite a few of these come in different varieties, for example, beans, you may enjoy green beans better than yellow wax beans, but they all will grow equally in your garden, it is just up to your personal preference.
Beans- all beans are probably one of the easiest garden plants for kids. The seeds are big and easy to handle, and they all usually sprout so you do not have any blank spots in your garden.
Parsley-can be grown in the ground or in pots, and there are two or three kinds that are each equally as good in soups and salads, and easy to grow and keep growing.
Tomatoes-Tomatoes can be gown very easily but kids will need help eventually to put each plant into wire circle stakes to keep the plants off the ground and growing upwards keeping the fruit up and off the ground also. Tomatoes come in many kinds, from the very small cherry tomatoes, to the other extreme, the beefsteak tomatoes. that grow as large as your hand.
Radishes-I think that there may be a couple types of radishes, but they grow very quickly, and are not only good for salads, but are very good for you.
Squash--There are many different kinds of squash. The easiest to grow would be the zukini or Italian type. The other yellow or gourd types are slower growing and a bit more work.
Peas--Peas come in several kinds, but all of them are fun to grow because of the very sweet smelling flowers that come right before the pea pods Be sure to look to be sure you have the type that grow in the correct season you are planting in. There are winter peas, that grow in the winter, but most grow in the spring and summer months.
Corn--In order to grow corn successfully, you must have a lot of garden space. If you are just growing an experimental garden for the kids to learn from, go ahead and plant several rows of corn, but know that the plants will probably be small, and the corn, if the plants produce ears of corn may also be very small.
Preparing the area where you intend to put the garden will be a bit more work than small children can do. With a shovel dig down at least one foot deep, turning the soil over, doing this in rows. After you have shoveled and turned the whole area over, take a hoe and a rake and break up large clots of dirt and pull all the weeds from the soil. After you have the area dug a foot deep, and all the soil free from rocks, large clots of dirt, and weeds, it will then be an easier task for the kids to then take smaller spades and begin to form rows, straight rows so the water can flow at the low part of the row and the plants will be planted on top of the rows.
Read the directions for each type of vegetable, but for the most part of each of the before mentioned vegetables, basically you want to plant each seed about one half an inch deep and about six to eight inches apart from each other. Push the seed down into the soil gently one at a time with your finger, covering it gently afterward with just a little bit of loose soil.
The only plants that do not follow these directions, would be the parsley, and perhaps the radishes, which have such small seed that you will want to sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil, sprinkling a tiny bit over the top of them. Also, the tomatoes will be a much easier and successful endeavorif you stop in to your local nursery and buy pony packs of the started plants, or seedlings. You might also find a variety of pony packs including peppers, maybe some squashes, or parsley.
There is no given method or iron clad rules when it comes to planting a garden. Just make sure that it is a fun family time, and that you enjoy the results. It is good to keep the garden free of weeds , about once every other week or two, and be sure that you water it slowly and sufficientlyonce a week or so. It is usually a good idea to water on the ground in the rows, for you will get better and deeper root systems, therefore bigger and better fruits. Sprinklers tend to make the leaves and blossoms, which turn into the fruit, fall off, or mold, diminishing your yield by quite a bit.
When the vegetables grow, and they look like they are ready to be picked, pick a few and check to see if they are indeed ready and not too green. You can eat most vegetables after you wash them right out of the garden without cooking them t see how sweet and ready they are. This is a good and also fun way to check to see if they are full of taste and not green. The tomatoes will be able to harvest ripe tomatoes almost every single day, for they ripen very quickly. One day you will see a tomato that is still a bit green and hard and the next day it will be soft and red. Most of the vegetables I mentioned will be good for the whole spring and summer season, and you will be able to harvest vegetables off the plants for the whole season as long as you keep the garden dug up and free from weeds, and you remember to water it when needed.
Have fun, and you will find that this will be a good experience that will take time for you and your kids to do together for the whole summer, Have fun.