When my kids were younger, I loved going out to the garden to plant a few seeds and plants with them. At the time, I didn’t know how to garden and spending quality time with your kids in the garden was something I wanted to know how to do.
If I had known easy things to grow with my kids when I first started gardening, it would have made the time together easier.
Today, I have a guide to 10 easiest veggie plants to grow with your kids. This guide is simple and straightforward so that you don’t have to guess and waste your time. Instead, you and your kids can start making sweet memories together in the garden planting the easiest vegetables and fruits.
Ready to start having fun with your kids and growing the very easiest vegetables to grow yourself with the 10 easiest veggie plants to grow with your kids?
Introduce Gardening to Kids and Why it’s Important
As parents, we want to provide our kids with the best tools for learning and development. One activity that does just that is gardening. Introducing gardening to kids not only exposes them to the joys of nature, but it also teaches them valuable life skills such as responsibility and patience.
Through gardening, children learn the importance of taking care of something and watching it grow over time. Plus, it provides kids with an opportunity for outdoor exercise and fresh air.
10 Easy Plants to Grow Guide:
Here are ten easiest vegetables to grow that will get your kids excited about gardening and provide some yummy and nutritious snacks for the whole family.
For Early Summer Garden:
Sweet Cherry Tomatoes
Sweet cherry tomatoes are easy to plant and maintain because they are a hardy plant that can thrive in a variety of hot growing conditions, low light and poor soil. They are ideal for beginning gardeners and children who want to try their hand at growing their own food.
Sweet cherry tomatoes don’t require a lot of space except because you want to set up a vertical support system as they can get 6-10 feet high. Use a tomato cage or trellis to provide support.
How to plant out Cherry Tomatoes:
Dig holes in the soil spaced around 2-3 feet apart, making them deep enough to accommodate the root ball of the tomato plant.
Remove the cherry tomato plants carefully from their containers, taking care not to damage the roots.
Place the cherry tomato in the prepared holes, making sure they are in the same depth as they were in their containers.
Backfill the holes with soil, pressing it around the plants gently to remove any air pockets.
Mulch with organic compost around the cherry tomato to help retain moisture in the soil and prevent weed growth.
Water thoroughly at the base.
Provide support for the cherry tomato, especially as they grow taller.
Fertilize using a balanced fertilizer every 3-4 weeks.
Kids love sweet cherry tomatoes because of their small size and naturally sweet flavor. They are perfect for tiny hands to pick and snack on straight from the vine.
Cherry tomatoes are also versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, such as salads, pasta sauces, and even as a healthy alternative to candy. Their bright color and size make them a fun and attractive addition to any meal or snack.
Crunchy cucumbers are easy to plant from seed directly into the garden if the temperatures are above 65 degrees. They thrive in heat and come in so many varieties. I tested out 4 new cucumbers last spring frost this year that all had different shapes, tastes, and growing habits. It was fun to have taste tests of our cucumbers as a family and vote for our favorite.
Cucumbers require minimum maintenance, and their high-water content means they don’t need to be watered frequently. Cucumbers don’t require a lot of space to grow when grown vertically. Kids can even plant cucumbers for them in pots, which can be moved around to ensure there is enough sunlight.
How to plant cucumber seeds:
Sow the cucumber seeds about 1 inch deep in the soil, with 2-3 seeds per hole or spacing them around 12 inches apart.
Water the seeds regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged.
Once the seedlings emerge, thin them to one per hole or space them around 24-36 inches apart.
Mulch with compost around the cucumber seedlings to help retain moisture in the soil and prevent weeds.
Train the cucumber to grow up a trellis, fence, or other support.
Fertilize the cucumber once a month with a balanced slow-release pellet fertilizer.
Prune by removing the lateral shoots that grow between the main stem and the branches.
Check the plants regularly for pests and diseases, treating them as necessary with organic methods.
Harvest the cucumbers when they are about 6-8 inches long and firm to the touch.
Kids love crunchy cucumbers because of their refreshing taste and crunchy texture. They can be eaten plain as a snack or added to salads, sandwiches, and wraps.
Summer Squash like Zucchini or Yellow Squash
Summer squash is one of the easiest vegetables to plant from direct seed into your garden and maintain. Summer squash grows quickly and provides a bountiful harvest in warm soil, which can excite kids and make them feel proud of their gardening efforts.
How to grow early summer squash from seeds:
Plant seeds in the soil, with two to three seeds per hole or spacing them around 24-36 inches apart in well drained soil.
Cover the seeds with about an inch of soil and water them regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged.
Once the seedlings emerge, thin them to one plant per hole, choosing the healthiest-looking seedling.
Mulch with compost around the summer squash plants to help retain moisture in the soil and prevent weeds.
Fertilize the plants once a month with a balanced fertilizer.
Provide support for the plants such as stakes, cages or trellises to keep them growing upright rather than growing along the ground which increases the risk of rot.
Check the plants regularly for pests and diseases, treating them as necessary using organic methods.
Harvest the summer squash when they are about 6-8 inches long and firm to the touch. Be sure to check and harvest the squash regularly to keep the plants productive.
Summer squash is also very versatile in the kitchen. It can be used in a variety of dishes such as pasta, casseroles, and even cakes. Cooking with your child can be a fun way to spend quality time together in the kitchen while teaching them valuable lessons about healthy eating habits.
Summer squash plants are also known for their large, colorful flowers which can attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies to your garden. This can offer a great opportunity to teach kids about the importance of pollinators and their role in the ecosystem.
Small, Sweet Peppers
Adding small, sweet peppers to your summer garden is an excellent way to engage kids in gardening and teach them about the joy of growing their own food.
Use transplants from indoor plants at a local nursery that was started as an indoor plant.
Dig small holes in the soil, spaced about 18-24 inches apart.
Show the kids how to gently tap the bottom of each plant’s pot to loosen the soil around the roots.
Carefully remove each pepper plant from its container and place it in the prepared hole. The top of the root ball should be level with the surface of the surrounding soil.
Backfill the hole with soil, gently pressing it around the plant to remove any air pockets.
Water each pepper plant thoroughly, making sure to soak the soil around the plant.
Peppers are the easiest vegetables to grow as a seedling and do not get attacked by many types of insects. They also grow more quickly since they are smaller than the large bell pepper. You can harvest loads of small peppers.
Small, sweet peppers are high in vitamins and nutrients, making it a healthy addition to any meal. They can be eaten raw as a snack right out of the garden, added to salads, or included into cooked meals, increasing the variety of dishes that can be made using home-grown produce.
Small, sweet peppers come in a variety of vibrant colors, from green to yellow, red, and orange, making them a fun and visually appealing addition to any garden. Since peppers grow on the same plant and in clusters, harvesting them can be especially exciting for kids, as they pluck the colorful fruit straight from the vine.
Watermelon is also rich in vitamins and minerals, making it a nutritious snack that kids will love. Growing watermelon in your garden can encourage kids to eat healthier and to appreciate the value of fresh produce.
Planting Watermelons or other types of melons:
Sow the watermelon seeds directly into the soil once the outside temperature reaches at least 70°F.
Plant 4-6 seeds per hill or for trellising 1-2 seeds every 6 inches.
The seeds should be planted about ½ to 1 inch deep into the soil.
Cover the seeds with soil and water the soil regularly, keeping it moist but not waterlogged.
Thin the seedlings down to the strongest 2-3 plants per hill.
If the plants are being trellised, choose the 1-2 strongest seedlings at each planting spot.
Fertilize every 3 weeks with a balanced fertilizer.
When the they begin to vine, it is important to keep the area around the plants free of weeds.
Water the deeply and infrequently to encourage deep root growth.
Mulch with compost around the watermelon to keep the soil cool and moist.
As the watermelon begins to grow, consider using supports or trellis to support the weight of the fruit.
Harvest the watermelon after it has fully ripened on the vine. The underside of the watermelon should have a yellowish color and the stem should appear to be drying.
Growing watermelon can also teach children about the science of gardening. It can be a great way to teach kids about photosynthesis, germination, and the life cycle of plants. Children can learn about soil preparation, watering, fertilization, and plant care, all of which can help develop their patience, observation skills and sense of respect for the natural world.
Harvesting watermelon can be an exciting and fun experience for kids, as they get to see the fruits of their labor, literally. Kids will feel a sense of accomplishment when they harvest the watermelon from the vine and can enjoy it as a family.
Growing green bean plants is fun as you can choose a bush varieties or pole bean varieties. Both are easy to grow and low maintenance in the summer and can produce daily for you and your kids to enjoy eating right off the vine or cooked for dinner. This can be one of the easiest vegetables to grow.
Green beans are easy to grow and require minimal care, making them perfect for beginners. They love to grow in full sun.
The seeds are quite large, so little hands will have no trouble sowing and planting them.
The green beans come up quickly and produce visible results in a short amount of time, making it more exciting for the kids.
For Fall or Early Spring Garden:
Carrots can be harder to grow, but using these steps, you can have carrots seeds sprouting in warm, sandy soil and growing in no time. This is a type of root vegetables that you can sow seeds directly into the ground and using a raised beds. The cool thing about growing carrots is that they like the cold and don’t need protection from freezing weather.
Having your carrots almost hibernate through the winter, gives you a fun activity to do in the spring as the colder warm weather and longer it is in the ground, the more light carrot becomes sweeter.
Here’s how to plant carrot seeds for success:
Choose carrot seeds that will grow well in your area and consider picking colorful varieties, such as purple, white or yellow; they will make the gardening experience more exciting for kids.
Choose a sunny spot in your garden or create a raised garden bed for better drainage. Have kids help you with digging soil and creating a space for planting the seeds. Make sure to space the seeds about two inches apart and cover them with about half an inch of fine soil.
Add a cardboard piece or newspaper and cover the seeds. They like to germinate in the dark. Once they have sprouted, take off the cover.
Water regularly: Kids can enjoy participating in watering the carrot plants daily. Just make sure that they don’t overwater, which can cause the seeds to wash away.
Check on the Plants Regularly: Check on the seeding progress and growth with the kids. The excitement of seeing a sprout pop out of the soil or counting the number of leaves in each plant will keep them engaged and excited about gardening.
Harvesting Time: Once the carrots have grown, it’s time to harvest! Involve the kids in pulling the carrots out of the soil and washing them.
Leafy greens -Kale or Swiss Chard
Growing leafy greens like kale and chard in a kids’ garden can be a great way to foster healthy eating habits, nurture an appreciation for fresh produce, and teach valuable gardening skills.
Kale and chard will grow in your garden for many seasons, even though it is a cool season crop, it will continue to grow through spring frost and the hot of summer.
Choose a Sunny Spot: Find a sunny spot in your garden that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. Make sure there is enough space to accommodate the number of plants you want to grow.
Sow Seeds or Seedlings: Allow kids to help with sowing kale and chard seeds or transplanting seedlings into the soil in the fall 6 weeks before first frost or in spring 6 weeks before last frost.
Water Regularly: Water kale and chard regularly to ensure that the soil stays consistently moist, but not waterlogged. Involve kids in watering as often as possible.
Harvest and Cook Together: Harvest the kale and chard using scissors or garden shears once the leaves are mature. Kids can help wash the leaves and even cook recipes together, such as stir-fries or smoothies.
Leafy greens like kale and chard are versatile in the kitchen and can be used in a variety of dishes, such as smoothies, salads, stir-fries, and soups. This will encourage kids to experiment with different recipes and will make them more likely to try new dishes.
Not only is spinach a nutritious vegetable packed with vitamins and nutrients, but it also provides a great opportunity to teach your child about healthy eating habits as being one of the easiest vegetables to grow. This plant can be in 4 hours of direct sunlight with partial shade, indirect sunlight or light shade too.
Lettuce is an easy-to-grow and fast-growing vegetable making it one of the easiest vegetables to grow from seed. It’s perfect for getting kids interested in gardening as they can see results in a short amount of time. There are many lettuce varieties like leaf lettuce, head lettuce, or romaine.
Lettuce is a healthy vegetable that is packed with nutrients such as vitamins A, C and K. By growing lettuce in a garden with your kids, you can teach them about the importance of eating a healthy and balanced diet.
To grow lettuce and spinach seeds, follow this from the post about growing your own salad:
You can find a spot with 4 hours of direct sun and partial shade. Create rows 12-18 inches apart in garden soil. Using garden beds can make this an easier growing experience.
Show your child how to sprinkle the seeds along the rows evenly. For lettuce, space the seeds around 6 inches apart, for spinach space the seeds around 12 inches apart.
Cover the seeds with soil, gently patting and watering them afterward.
Label the rows so you don’t forget what you have planted.
Water the seeds regularly to help them germinate and sprout.
Once the seedlings emerge, thin them to avoid overcrowding. For lettuce thin to 6 inches, for spinach thin to 12 inches.
Water the seedlings regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged.
Show your child how to harvest the lettuce and spinach as soon as they are mature, picking the outer leaves first, so they keep producing.
Tips on Starting to Plant with Kids
Starting a garden can seem overwhelming, especially when it comes to soil preparation and knowing which tools and accessories to use.
To prepare your soil, consider adding compost and well-drained soil to help improve its quality.
As for tools and accessories, it’s important to invest in a good set of gloves, a trowel for planting, pruning shears for trimming, and a watering can or hose for watering.
Don’t forget to also consider planting stakes or trellises in garden beds for supporting taller plants.
By taking the time to properly prepare your soil and gather the right tools, you’ll be well on your way to growing a garden with many vegetables and fruits with your kids.
Maintenance and Troubleshooting
Gardening is a wonderful hobby for many and growing your own vegetables is not only rewarding but also great for your health. However, just like any other plant, each type of vegetable comes with its own maintenance and troubleshooting issues.
For instance, if you’re growing tomatoes, you need to make sure they get enough water and support since they can be prone to cracking and blossom end rot.
With peppers growing beans, you may encounter issues with the leaves turning yellow which could indicate pests or a nutrient deficiency. You can have an abundant harvest with low maintenance and start growing in just a few weeks with the easiest vegetables to grow.
How to Make the Experience More Fun for Kids
Here are a few tips to make gardening fun:
First, involve them in the seed choosing process. Let them pick out their favorite flowers, herbs, fruits, or veggies to grow.
Second, get creative with your planting containers or garden beds. Use colorful pots or areas designated just for them to plant.
Third, make it a daily routine to check on them and water together. This will not only ensure healthy growth, but it will also create a fun bonding activity for the family. Add a butterfly garden in addition to your veggies with this post.
Lastly, set realistic expectations and celebrate small victories. It may take a while before you see a full bloom or harvested vegetable, but when you do, make sure to celebrate with your kids and enjoy the fruits (or vegetables) of your labor.
In conclusion, growing a vegetable garden in a small spaces or large with your kids is not only a great way to spend quality time outdoors, but also an invaluable learning experience.
With this guide on 10 easy veggie plants that are perfect for growing with children, you and your kids are sure to have fun while exploring the science of gardening together in the growing season.
Remember to be patient and involve your kids in every step of the process in growing a vegetable garden to make it both educational and enjoyable, even if you think you don’t have a green thumb. What are you waiting for? Get out there and start gardening with your kids today!