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Growing a Vegetable Garden with Kids

Updated on September 2, 2009

Home Gardening

As an fun summer project for the kids or just another way to get fresh vegetables, growing your own garden can be enjoyable and tastey.

If you want to make a project out of the adventure, you can have your children write down their favorite fruits and vegetables to see which ones you would be able to grow in your garden area. Not all produce will grow in all areas, but you can sure try to please the little one's taste buds.

When gardening at home, make sure that you know how much room you have to work with before you choose how many and what kind of vegetables and fruits to grow. You don't want to overcrowd your produce, so it's best to plan ahead of time. Make sure that you know how much space each produce is going to need, especially in regards to will it grow out or up.

Once you have decided where your gardening area will be and what fruits and vegetables you will grow, let the kids help you prep the dirt and plan out where you will put each plant or seed.

Small Vegetable Garden
Small Vegetable Garden
Banana Pepper Plant
Banana Pepper Plant

What should you grow in a home garden

Whatever you opt to grow at home is really your decision, but some of the more common choices are those listed below.

Remember that the fruits that grow on trees, are going to take time to grow before you're going to get fruits, so growing them is going to be more than a spring/summer project for the kids.

You may want to consider growing brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Although, this will attract birds to eat from your garden, it will make things more interesting for your kids.

Also, consider different types of fruits. If your child loves carrots, try the white, red, yellow, or purple carrots, instead of the traditional orange carrots. It may make things interesting, and it'll definitely throw out a different taste to a healthy snack or dinner.

Vegetables:

  • Asparagus
  • Banana Pepper
  • Beans
  • Bell Pepper
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Potatoes
  • Radish
  • Snap Pea
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Zucchini

Fruits:

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Canteloupe
  • Grapes
  • Melon
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

Fruits that grow on trees:

  • Apples
  • Figs
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears

Other fun things to grow:

  • Sunflowers
  • Nuts

Gardening Tips

Disclaimer: I am not a professional gardener, so these tips are those that I use my own vegetable garden.

  • Choose an area for your garden where they will receive direct sunlight for the majority of the day.
  • Fence off the area so that pets cannot get to the plants and dig them up, urinate on them, or lay on them.
  • Prep the dirt with potting soil and fertilizer to prepare the area with nutrients.
  • Plant individual plants at bare minimum 2 to 3 inches apart. It's best to follow the directions on the package of the seeds or the sprout.
  • Water the seeds, or sprouts, at least once a day for the first few days after laying the seeds or planting the sprouts. After that point, make sure to water regularly to keep the dirt from drying out.
  • Check the leaves daily for bugs and signs of bugs. If you notice signs of bugs on the leaves of the plants, purchase 7-dust powder and use according to the package.
  • As the plants grow, you'll need to support taller plants by tying them to a stake, whether a stick, pole, or some other type of support to keep the plant from falling over.

Metallic Garden Bird Repeller

Keep Birds and Squirrels Out of The Garden

With any garden, you'd hate to put so much time and energy in preparing the dirt, planting the seeds or sprouts, and watering the plants, just so that the squirrels and birds get to your produce before you have a chance.

To keep squirrels from getting into your garden, try these tips.

  • Trim trees that are above the garden area, creating a break in their path, so that the squirrels cannot travel over the garden.
  • Put loose plastic mesh over the soil when you plant the seeds, or sprouts, and secure the mesh on the edges with bricks, stones, or lumber. The plants will grow through the mesh, but it prevents them from digging. (You can remove the mesh if you want once you notice the sprouts growing.)
  • Use motion detection sprinklers in the garden, so that when the squirrels cross the detector, a sudden burst of water will frighten them, temporarily. Motion detecting lights won't work because squirrels aren't nocturnal.
  • Sprinkle ground chili peppers in the garden; try Thai chilies, habaneras, and cascabellas because they are one of the hottest chilies that you can find. The capsicum will make it unpleasant for the squirrels to dig.
  • Instead of sprinkling ground chili peppers, you can mix 1 gallong of water, 6 capfuls of Murphy's Oil Soap, and 2 Tbsps. cayenne pepper, and spray the mix over the garden bed.

To keep birds from getting into the garden, you can try these tips.

  • Place a fake owl in the garden area; the better owls are those with moveable heads. Birds tend to shy away from things that move.
  • Wrap wire around the plant.
  • Put reflective material or shiney streamers in and around the garden area. Birds will, also, shy away from shiney materials.

Remember that no matter what method you use, it will more than likely be a temporary one. You will need to change up your techniques.

Comments

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    • rbm profile image

      rbm 

      6 years ago

      Great tips! For keeping pests away from my vegetable plants, I've had a lot of success with floating row covers. They are especially useful to protect newly planted seeds from birds and young plants from slugs and snails.

    • philipandrews188 profile image

      philipandrews188 

      7 years ago

      I love vegetable garden, this hub is very cool.

    • Melanie Hanni profile image

      Melanie Hanni 

      8 years ago from Idaho

      We grow a garden every year, and LOVE it, nothing tastes better than fresh. thanks for some extra tips.

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