The best plants for gardening with kids

Want to encourage your mini green thumb? These plants will get your kid started on their own veg patch (and flower garden, too!)

Photo: iStockphoto

Zucchini, Squash and Pumpkin

These vines grow quickly, produce large edible flowers and look like they came from outer space, with clinging tendrils. Zucchini produce all summer long, while squash and pumpkins give little green thumbs something to look forward to in the fall.

Milkweed 

Growing these fascinating wildflowers is good for the environment, and with any luck, they’ll become home to a monarch chrysalis or two. The gorgeous pink flowers of this indigenous plant smell like honey—and feel neat, too—and the young pods are edible!

Catnip, Cat Grass and Citronella

Got a kitty at home? Plant some cat grass or catnip in a pot and place it somewhere where your furry friend can enjoy it. Citronella is ideal for deterring pesky mosquitoes.

Sunflowers

These cheerful summer flowers are great for a few reasons: They grow quickly, can reach impressive heights and in the fall, produce hundreds of tasty seeds for roasting or sharing with birds and squirrels through the winter.

Tomatoes

kid's hand on the dirt next to a sprout Go ahead, get dirty—gardening as a family makes it far less of a chore Perhaps everyone’s favourite, because they’re easy to grow and tend. Tomatoes fair well in containers and produce yummy fruit all summer long. For little fingers and mouths, tiny cherry or grape tomatoes are best

Vines

Cucumbers, pole beans and scarlet runner beans all bloom beautifully, attract pollinators and produce veggies. They also twirl and twine quickly upward, making them perfect choices for small spaces—even in a container on a balcony!

Flowers

Blooms are needed for a pretty garden and for attracting pollinators. Morning glory and nasturtium are two plants that germinate easily, grow quickly and produce lovely, plentiful flowers all summer and into the fall. Bonus: Nasturtium leaves, buds and flowers are edible.

Theme Gardens

How about a pizza garden of tomatoes, basil and green peppers? Or a Greek salad garden planted with tomatoes, cucumbers and oregano? Plant an all-herb pot outdoors or find a dry, sunny spot near the kitchen.

Read more:
This is how you get kids to eat vegetables
5 reasons gardening with kids gives them a healthy start

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