Planting Seeds with Kids

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Although there are still slight reminders of this week’s snow on the ground, I wanted to make sure to get some seeds started today in indoor containers so that I could replant them later this season in the garden.  Since we are planning on joining a CSA this year, we are planting just a few items that we eat a lot of (or that might not come as often in our CSA share): a large variety of green beans and peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and my family’s heirloom basil from Italy.

This year I gave each of the boys their own seed starter set so they could clearly see the growth of their seeds.

Little Guy didn’t quite get the idea, and pitched a fit when I said we were going to wait to plant the acorn squash directly in the ground in May/June (We use a variety of squash and gourds as a cheap and interesting ground covering for a patch of the hill next to our patio that we cannot seem to grow grass on).

Instead he decided to plant about 40 jalepeno pepper seeds in his starter kit (seems fitting as that was my pregnancy craving with him).

Buddy better understood the concept, so he carefully prepared holes for his pea and bean varieties and then dropped the seeds into their holes.

He then went to the garage about 50 times between 3 PM and bedtime to check to see if his seeds have grown.

I guess we haven’t really comprehended the time it will take for our seeds to develop.

I like planting with my kids so that they feel they have a personal connection to the foods we will be growing for our table.  I love watching the boys eat right off the vines in the summer, gorging themselves on fresh beans and tomatoes.  My gardening methods are not pretty nor are they even very effective, but they allow my children hands on experiences at every step of the gardening process.

Do you work with your children to develop and care for your garden?  What tips do you have to help create a memorable and fruitful (don’t mind the pun) experience?  Do you have any highly productive crops that are fun for the kids to watch as they grow?

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  1. i need to get my butt in gear and start my seeds or I’m gonna have to do seedlings again
    Melinda@LookWhatMomFound…andDadtoo recently posted…Celebrating Something On A Stick DayMy Profile

  2. I would love to garden with my daughter, some great bonding time.

  3. Cherry tomatoes are always good to do with kids. Do you guys use all 40 pepper plants? They make for a great barrier around tomatoes in order to deter the rabbits.
    Becky recently posted…Live Green with boom Boom! CardsMy Profile

    • Ooh! Great advice! I need to find something to protect my basil from animals and Japanese beetles, too. We did cherry tomatoes last year and are doing more this year. Last year our two tomato plants produced so many tomatoes that we couldn’t even look at tomatoes at the end of the summer. That and zucchini. :)
      Heather recently posted…Planting Seeds with KidsMy Profile

  4. My daughter does have grand dreams of a garden.. her mom (me) does not I have never been able to keep a garden. I love the concept but my follow through sucks. My daughter makes flowers and sticks them int he dirt, with the little girl next store.
    sher r recently posted…What is Pinterest?My Profile

    • I try to grow things that my black thumb doesn’t kill. Zucchini are pretty (huge orange flowers) and low maintenance. Maybe she’d like to tend to one of those :)

  5. My kids love planting time… and not unlike yours, they’re not good at the waiting part. It’s such a joy to see their faces light up when I say “it’s time to pick tomatoes!” and send them out back with a basket. It’s good for them to know where food comes from, and that it doesn’t just magically appear in the grocery store or farmers market.
    Nicole recently posted…Long Beach Island, NJ — We’re Still Here!My Profile

  6. We planted a bean teepee last summer and it was awesome. We planted both green beans and snow peas. I loved that I would catch my kids as well as several neighborhood kids sitting inside the secret hideaway munching on beans right from the vine! This is a tradition that we will carry on every summer :)

  7. Love this idea – teaching your children the value of growing your own food and caring for nature. Looking forward to having a garden this summer and working out there with my toddler!
    Sarah recently posted…American Sourced and Spun YarnMy Profile

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