I am thinking about starting a vegetable patch to 1. save money, 2. educate our kids about produce and 3. outdoor enjoyment.
I have a 3 year old and 18 month old twins – what would be the best, easiest and least likely to die, plants to grow?
Any other tips for making it fun and family friendly?

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  • Herbs like parsley, rosemary, sage are quite good. I think broccoli is quite hardy too

  • Buy little items for the kids – a watering can, a trough, a rake. They will copy you so give them a patch of dirt to rake, they can help you water and move things from one pot to another.

  • Vegetables would be best, they don’t take much maintenance and are usually pretty good at producing quickly

  • Have a look at the ABC Veggie Guide. It is a free app which is used by lots of schools and kindys. It allows you to select where you live and gives you recommendations about what to grow and when to plant it etc. there are also activities for the kids to do to learn about the planting to eating process. Great idea to involve your kids!

  • I would suggest you grow corn. It grows quite quickly and my children loved sneaking off and picking and eating the newly forming cobs, so don’t expect to have them for your house. They then ate fresh vegetables and didn’t complain. Tomatoes can sometimes be too acidic for young ones, and it’s hard to explain that strawberries have to be red – the slightest tinge of colour and they pick them, especially when you are not around. Hope this helps.

  • Carrots are very easy to grow and lettuce we have planted a massive veggie garden with heaps of different vegs and my son loves them all he loves to use the watering can and the carrots are very easy for him to harvest

  • A lot of herbs grow easily from seed, and are fun to watch sprout up. The kids can easily pick some to add to whatever’s cooking for dinner. You can buy little watercans or small spray bottles – kids seem to love these. Have fun!

  • If yhou grow zucchinis the little ones definitely need gloves and as some plants have rough stems which you can get scratches from I suggest they wear long pants when picking them.
    If there are no bees around, you may have to pollinate them yourself. Tomato plants must be planted far enough apart to allow plenty of air movement. Tomatoes may need dusting with tomato or vegetable dust to stop grubs eating them. It has the no. of days on the container that you must not touch them which means you have to stop little fingers from touching the entire plant. In winter carrots are good. Some varieties can be planted in tubs. They need very little care. As long as the soil is soft and you follow the instructions on the packet, they will sometimes germinate before the number of days listed on the seed packet. Depending on the size of your garden you can plant cauliflowers (some types grow bigger than others). You might have to call them” white trees” or something else to encourage them to eat them. Broccoli is “green trees” You can plant seeds and transplant them or buy seedlings. You need to take into consideration the water needed when making your decision. Some need a lot more water than others. Good Luck it can be a lot of fun. Don’t be too disheartened if you have a few failures.

  • I don’t think you can go wrong with things like tomatoes and strawberries. Kids love those anyway. For something that grows really well I’d suggest zucchini. We are overrun this year and my sons love collecting them. Also green beans are another one they can have fun picking.

  • I’d suggest planting a few different plants from seed as it’s really exciting for them when they see something pop up out of the ground. I don’t think the twins will be that interested but great for your 3 year old.It’s probably a bit late in the season, but sunflowers are pretty quick, easy and popular for young kids. As for produce, pick up some tomato seedlings, these are great for starters and home grown taste amazing.

  • I use plants that are well established, like tomato, strawberries, and some flowers I know not a lot but dont complicate it, keep it simple.Remember get the kids to wear gloves they wont like it but great to encourage it at a young age..Ask the nursery as well..oh and another is maybe put some seeds in a small pot and show the kids when it starts sprouting that is always exciting…good luck..

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