Best edibles for kids to plant?

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by emandeli, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. emandeli

    emandeli Member

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    We have a 7yr old and 3yr old who enjoy gardening. They have gardening programs at school and have loved helping out in the garden. We are moving to a much larger space and have two fantastic patios to grow pots on, and huge country yard to plant a larger garden. We are thinking of letting the kids pick their own plants but would like to have some suggestions. We would like something that provides something edible and something that would be okay to plant in some pots for the patios-for them to easily look after when it gets warm. Best or interesting ideas?

    I have heard Kohlrabi (sp) is fun but not sure if it will grow in a pot. I think kids find the shape of it strange like an "alien" lol.
     
  2. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    lettuce or spinach would be good. they germinate fairly quickly and you can let the kids start to pick them when they're still young (more tender flavor) as well as leave some to continue to grow larger - so, that would be a continous harvesting and would keep their interest. they're cooler weather items - so, would be your first round.

    carrots would be another good one - some varieties produce fairly quickly. and you can see when they're ready to pick because the ends will *just* be protruding from the soil. hard to really see what's happening though, so that one may not hold their interest if there's no result quickly.

    peas or beans take a little longer - lots of varieties to choose from, tho. the whole thing of watching them grow up the supports you put in would keep their interest, though, as well as watching for the flowers and then watching the flowers turn into pods and keeping track of the growth would be something that would really keep their interest in the long run.

    you can easily do strawberries in a big strawberry planter.

    cucumbers - one of the smaller varieties - could be done in a container with a trellis to support the vines.

    green peppers, eggplant and tomatoes would do okay in containers. much longer growing time until being able to harvest, tho, so, with their ages, they may lose interest.

    although, if you do a variety of things you can surely keep them interested and involved throughout the summer.

    other things that they can really watch grow are chives and leeks - they may not want to eat them, tho.

    some herbs would be good, also. parsely - both curly and flat and that one can be picked/eaten at any time, so, if they want a taste when out playing, no big deal. basil - there are a ton of varieties - with different colors other than the usual green, so, you could do a couple different types.

    cilantro, nasturtium, sage, marjoram, oregano, savory, sorrel and any of the mints would be good also.
     
  3. Katalina25

    Katalina25 New Member

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    A couple of seed potatoes,

    Some small carrots (nants) are ideal if you can get them.

    Buy some canes, make a wigwam in deep pots for growing beans which have lovely flowers before the beans arrive. Peas, but they may eat them straight from the pods lolol

    Grow sweet peas up a sunny wall for flowers.

    Thats a start.
     
  4. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    You'll want things that germinate readily, provide some degree of fairly instant gratification (ie. quick to grow/flower), and have some novelty...scarlet runner beans are the classic kids project plant, satisfying a few of the above criteria (size and rate of growth being the novelty)...There is a radish variety called "watermelon" (perhaps goes by other names as well) which is very large, and has a green outer flesh and a red inner flesh...carrots, as mentioned, with an eye to unusual varieties, such as globe shaped types, different coloured types...A chard, such as "bright lights" provides a really vibrant, rainbow display of stem colours, and grows quick and easily. Lettuce comes in a number of varieties with speckled leaves; patty pan squash can be trellised, and the fruit looks cool. Pretty much any type of vegetable you can think of comes in a variety with some sort of unusual characteristics: look through the catalogues with this in mind, it holds their interest past the initial novelty of planting/germination, and drives home the point that you can grow much cooler things yourself than are available at the grocery store.
     
  5. northerngrapes

    northerngrapes Active Member

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    Kids love strawberries. Get some day neutral varieties like Tristar or Seascape they will produce fruit for you this year. The other plants that they like are peas. let them help you build the supports ie netting , chicken wire and small 1" x 2" posts. Kids love eating
    raw peas or cooked peas. Have fun.

    Cheers

    Kim
     
  6. Katalina25

    Katalina25 New Member

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    Hmmm...great minds think alike
     
  7. jreidsma

    jreidsma Active Member

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    Patio tamatoes work great in pots, outside, on patios, or even planted like regular tomatoes. Grape tomatoes can be grown in cat litter buckets. Alot of plants are great for this reason.
     
  8. emandeli

    emandeli Member

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    Wow, what an amazing response of really great ideas! It almost makes me really excited for them-I agree, some instant gratification (or quick) might be necessary so I might try to ensure some "staggering" so that things will come after another? I love the wigwam idea as well. Would peas work with that too? I have only grown peas straight up! The lettuce, spinach or a salad mix idea is great! I think they would love to cut pieces off as well as it grows. I'm so excited for us to move to this fantastic property. We will have to re-dig up the area for gardening as now I hear that they have some smaller area for (past) gardening that have irrigation hooked up with controls in garage (well water). I am pretty much a novice gardener and have always just bought a few seeds or plants and squished them in a townhouse front yard plot (which has produced a lot considering the size, and packed nature of it). I love peas myself...and yellow beans (raw, zuchini, fresh tomatoes....mmm.... thank you sooo much!
     
  9. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    How about some giant sunflowers? Growing a plant that is as tall as a house from a seed planted yourself has gotta be a thrill for a kid. (Adults too!)
     
  10. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    i agree, sunflowers are definitely something kids like to watch growing! i was going to suggest them - didn't though because i thought this would be container gardening and they really do best when in the ground.

    yes to the totem-style support for peas. that's fine for any of the viney type plants.
     
  11. Katalina25

    Katalina25 New Member

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    Staggering is great not just for kids either.

    If you stagger it means fresh on tap so to speak, if you get a 'glut of food products' then freeze them if possible.

    Remember to stay clear of products where the kids are that see off bugs n slugs...

    Yes, anything will grow up and around a wigwam from bean and pea family, just train them round the wigwam.
     
  12. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    emandeli did say 'huge country yard'.
     
  13. Katalina25

    Katalina25 New Member

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    That tells me that its maybe paved and it will be turned into a garden with soil..maybe Togata?
     
  14. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Huh? I infer no pavement from emandeli's description.
     
  15. Katalina25

    Katalina25 New Member

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    What does a country yard look like?

    I have no idea Togata. I just thought it may already be paving slabs they would possibly lift to make a garden.

    I dunno!
     
  16. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Well, I think of a 'country yard' as being like the one belonging to my grandparents in Illinois---part mowed, most not, overgrown around the edges with shrubberies, the occasional mulberry, forsythia, Rose-of-Sharon---an old-fashioned herbaceous border filled with various perennials. This latter along the long driveway (off Rural Route 1) that went up to the old house...fields of soybeans behind as far as I could see.

    Hey, emandeli! Tell us what you mean by 'huge country yard'!
     
  17. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    i missed the 'country yard' part. so, thought just pots on the patio would be used.

    i have no idea what a 'country yard' is either. unless it's just a reference to the fact that city properties don't have yards and those in the country do.

    k.

    so, will you have lots of space to grow things or just containers??

    if lots of space, there are plenty of other things you can grow as well.

    asparagus - although that takes a couple years to actually get something edible. worth the wait tho!

    broccoli, okra, corn, pumpkin, cantaloupe and other squash varieties, passion fruit, zucchini, kiwi. maybe even a couple of fruit trees.
     
  18. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Pumpkins, good one Joclyn. They grow big and the kids can make jack-o-lanterns in the fall.

    I will assume a country yard means lots of space as opposed to the few square metres of a typical Vancouver yard.
     
  19. tgplp

    tgplp Active Member

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    Hi there! Carrots are fairly easy to grow, and they come in many varieties. I reccomend growing rainbow carrots from seed. Each carrot is a different color. I grow them at my home, and it is fun to pick them because you never know what color you will pull up! I reccomend the same thing for radishes-by Easter Egg radishes, as these are different colors as well. Another carrot I grow that I really like is a Parisian Market Carrot- these are the little round carrots that grow in a sphere shape. Kids love different colors and textures!
    I love lettuce. And what's better than to grow a variety?! I highly reccomend growing some sort of Mesclun mix, because there are tons of different types of greens in it. The kids will love looking at all the different colors and textures, as I mentioned before about carrots.
    Beans are always fun, too! Everyone likes picking beans off of a trellis! :) I like to grow pole beans, because they produce lots of beans! And your kids will probably love picking beans all summer long.
    I hope this helps!
    ~Tgplp
     
  20. jreidsma

    jreidsma Active Member

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    What about Cyphomandra betacea tree tomatoes? You know thoughs tree like tomato plants that live a couple years and produce the first year and are supposed to produce a good sized bucket full of the tomato like fruit. My freind said that Akebia quinata chocolate vine was a fun way to grow edible chocolate flavored fruit but I havet grown it myself and dont know anything about it. broccoflower which is a Broccoli/Cauliflower mix would probably be a fun different thing for you to grow. Orange F1 Cheddar cauliflower is a different plant to grow and has 25 times more vitamin A than white cauliflower so it would also have a health benefit. Purple Head Cauliflower is also different.
     
  21. cucurbits

    cucurbits Member

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    Winter Squash. They take a while for the squash to be ready to pick but it is fun to watch them grow. Cherry tomatoes would be another good one to grow. Maybe an apple or cherry tree. I know you did say for pots but you should have enough room to fit these in the yard.
     
  22. emandeli

    emandeli Member

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    Hi everyone!

    "Country Yard"--I love this discussion! I am able to re-dig up some past garden areas that are covered in weeds and such. I haven't had a look or run through yet so I am not sure exactly where on the property they are located. There are 13 acres, yard (grass space) and a lot of smaller fields, a couple ponds....a long gravel driveway with some big oak trees. I don't think anyone has been really planting much around the home-the fields haven't been in much use either. There is a lot of area that I don't have any pics but I will try to post some of the house we will be moving to...with parts of yard. Once we get moved in there (a month away)-I will be taking pics to ask for some ideas for sure! The yard is not developed at all in terms of flowers and such except some overgrown bushes, trees, some grapes, etc. I love it there!

    I like all the ideas for the containers, and some for the ground as well. I'll be making a list of all the suggestions and show some pictures to the kids as well!
     

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  23. emandeli

    emandeli Member

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    Pumpkins! What a great idea! I have seen some seeds for the white ones as well which might be fun...I wonder about little gourds? The neat shapes and textures might be fun as well! I like the idea of orange chedder cauliflower! It would make interesting fun in the garden and house for sure-all the lively colours and foods. I once saw something similar (broc or cauliflower) in a pic that had little spiky things or something different about it's shape!
     
  24. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    gourds was the other thing i wanted to mention - the phone rang and i forgot to add that in before submitting the post!

    the gourds would be good because, once they're done watching them grow to point of picking, they can watch them as they dry and can be used for holiday decorations. would also be a good thing to bring into school for 'show & tell' day...they'd have a nice story about how they spent their summer and have something to show the other children, too!

    you could also grow loofa - and then, once it's dried, you'll have something to use for bath-time.

    pumpkins - yes, another wonderful thing to do and the fun doesn't just end when you harvest! do a variety that is sweeter so you can eat it - either to make a pie or one of those cake-rolls and the kids can help with that part, too. then, do another variety that's specific for using for jack-o-lanterns - and you'll all have a nice carving it up for halloween!
     
  25. Katalina25

    Katalina25 New Member

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    Its a fun thread,

    Country yard..lol

    Garden
    Garden with a tree
    Garden with moat

    Its the area and how they see things. We would def say this is garden where Vancouver Island, BC, Canada says its a country yard.

    What ever way its explained by country its going to be lovely.

    I have a link specific for the children

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/gardening_with_children/
     

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