Top 10 Plants For Children To Grow

Keeping children occupied can be tricky, especially during long periods like school holidays! We've come up with some suggestions for plants to grow that are both easy and fun!

Top 10 Plants For Children To Grow

Keeping children occupied can be tricky, especially during long periods like school holidays! We've come up with some suggestions for plants to grow that are both easy and fun!

Top 10 Plants for Children

Getting children involved in gardening can be extremely rewarding, both for them and the “grown up” helping them out. Giving a young person the responsibility of growing something for themselves and also letting them eat the crops that they have sown and grown is a fantastic way of getting outside and enjoying the sunshine for everyone!

Keeping what you grow quick and simple is the key for young gardeners, there's no point in sowing a seed that will take 6 months to germinate as the boredom factor will set in all too soon, also growing everybody's favourite, cress, is fun entertaining when grown in an eggshell etc, sunflowers are also an obvious choice, but why stop there? Let's carry on with something that could last the entire summer holiday if needed!

1. Radishes

One of the easiest and quickest salad crops ever, radishes can be sown repeatedly over the summer so that there will always be something growing well and visibly getting larger every day too. Traditional red and white varieties such as 'French Breakfast' germinate really quickly and can be grown in any sort of container. For something a bit more unusual, try 'Bluemoon F1 hybrid' , which looks visually stunning when cut through.

Germination time : 4 - 8 days

Ready to eat: approx 28 days

2. Carrots

Another seed that is very easy to grow and with a crop that children will love to eat virtually straight out of the ground! The long stems of the plant above ground are a good indication of how well the plant is growing, their fluffy fronds have a tactile quality to them too so children will want to handle them - don't forget that when you cut the top off you can put it in water to see it grow again, something that we all find fascinating! Try the bite size variety Carrot 'Paris Market - Atlas'

Germination time : 14 - 21 days

Ready to eat: approx 70 days

3. Marigolds

A really easy to grow flower seed that produces bright and cheerful blooms through the summer. Marigolds can be sown into pots, seed trays or directly into the ground where they are needed - making them a perfect choice if you've given them an area of the garden that's their own to look after. The seeds are really easy to handle and so can it's nice and clear where they have been sown.

As a plus, marigolds repel whitefly, so if you're growing tomatoes in the same area, they'll be a natural deterrent!

Germination time : 5 - 10 days

4. Tomatoes

Regular feeding and watering is the key to growing tomatoes, and children love watering plants (any excuse to play with water). A bit of "science" with the feeding and then, of course, watching the fruit grow, ripen and then eating them!

Tomatoes are usually easy to germinate and grow on, but if it's later in the season then it's just as easy to buy our Postiplug plants and grow them on from there. A great variety to choose is Tomato 'Sweet Aperitif' as it's a prolific cropper, can grow quite tall (a "giant" tomato plant perhaps) and the cherry tomatoes are the sweetest ever grown!

Germination time : 5 - 10 days

Ready to eat: July to October

5. Peas

Who doesn't love freshly picked peas? A really easy to sow and grow crop that can be planted in succession from march through to July about every 10 days so that there's always something going on, from sowing, planting out, watering and picking. Peas will need some supports to grow up too, so why not construct some interesting and fun structures or just use sticks, twigs and canes.

For reliable grower and cropper, try Pea 'Terrain' or for something unusual, how about the purple podded Pea 'Shiraz'? Don't forget that pea shoots are also a popular addition to salads and stir frys too!

Germination time : 14 - 21 days

Ready to eat: approx 70 days

6. Nasturtiums

A scrambling, spreading annual that grows just about anywhere, each plant can reach up to a metre in length and will happily fall over the side of a pot, window box or hanging basket, or wind its way through a flower bed too. unusual shaped, veined leaves and a bright array of flower colours available too. The flowers are actually edible too and are often used in salads, the seeds are also known as 'poor man's capers' and can be pickled. Take a look at our range of nasturtiums and choose something fun and colourful to try!

Germination time : up to 14 days

7. Chives

We all know chives, a great cooking ingredient and can be eaten in salads too, so why not grow it, it's very undemanding, and can be harvested relatively quickly, snipping off some ends to add to a soup or chopped up and mashed in with potatoes, or added to cheese on toast, there's so many ways that children can easily use a herb that they've grown themselves and this is one of the easiest to grow!

Germination time : 14 - 21 days

Ready to eat: up to 90 days

8. Lettuce Leaves

Possibly germinating as quickly as cress but with a much longer period of interest, lettuce leaves can be grown anywhere at all, from the smallest novelty pot to a whole patch in the garden. Edible at any size, lettuce, sometimes referred to as salad leaves are often grown as a "cut and come again" crop, which means you can pick a few leaves off of each plant and then leave it for a few days to grow more! If left to mature, lettuces will grow into the full sized varieties that you often see on supermarket shelves, only this time you'll have 'grown your own'!

Germination time : 2 - 12 days

Ready to eat: from 21 days (less if eating baby leaves)

9. Cornflowers

Often seen as an annual wildflower, cornflowers have striking blue colours that will certainly catch the eye of gardeners of all ages! These easy to grow plants are wonderful for attracting bees and butterflies into the garden too, so not only are the flowers good to look at, the insects they attract will be fabulous to watch and record too!

Germination time : 7 - 10 days

10. Fennel

Perhaps a slightly unusual sounding choice, but what an amazing plant to have in your garden! Decorative, tactile and unmistakeably fragrant too, fennel has plenty of interest for most gardens. If you choose to grow a bronze fennel then you'll have some really striking foliage to use as a backdrop for other plants, add to that the soft foliage that really is very touchable and that unmistakeable aniseed fragrance when you rub it slightly and you have a hugely interesting plant that will grow quickly too!

Germination time : 7 - 10 days

Ready to eat: from 65 days

While there are plenty of other plants that children will grow in the garden, we hope that the above will at least have given you some inspiration to get planting, growing and enjoying outside with the children this year!

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