10 Plants Perfect for a Kids' Garden

Two young girls harvest a potato from the garden

Evonne / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

If you have kids, teaching them to garden can be a great way for them to discover where food comes from. Chances are they will also learn to love the taste of fruits and veggies that they might not have otherwise. Whether you choose them for their mild, sweet flavors that children are sure to enjoy, bright colors, or simply because they are easy to grow, these delicious and nutritious plants are ideal for young gardeners.

Here are 10 fruits and vegetables to grow in a kids’ garden that are perfect for teaching the basics of gardening.

Some of the plants on this list are toxic to pets. For more information about the safety of specific plants, consult the ASPCA's searchable database.

1
of 10

Radishes (Raphanus sativus)

High angle view of radish growing in garden
Hakan Jansson / Getty Images

Radishes are a terrific plant for kids to grow because their growing season is only 20 to 30 days, so they will get to sample their harvest quickly. Radishes come in a variety of bright colors, like pink, purple, and red, and have a strong flavor that will open up kids' palates to new tastes. For a milder flavor, harvest radishes while young.

Plant Care Tips

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Loamy or sandy.
2
of 10

Snap Peas (Pisum sativum)

Several bright green sugar snap peas hang on a vine

Jenny Dettrick / Getty Images

The sweetness and crunch of snap peas make them an irresistible snack for kids to munch on right off the vine. Their curly tendrils will need some support, either against a fence or a tomato cage. Try snap peas in a fresh, summer salad or in a stir-fry recipe.

Plant Care Tips

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Fertile and moist-retentive.
3
of 10

Cherry Tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum)

A tangle of green leaves and vines surround a cluster of cherry tomatoes in various stages or ripeness

Tuchodi / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The best part about having fresh cherry tomatoes in the garden is that they can be snacked on straight from the vine. Cherry tomatoes can be easily grown in containers, making them a fantastic choice if you plan to give your child their own pot to keep them in. Make sure to place stakes alongside each seedling for support as they grow. If you have to many tomatoes to eat while they are fresh, consider canning them or using them to make jam.

Plant Care Tips

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 10
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Average, medium-moisture, and well-drained.
4
of 10

Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)

Bright yellow petals grow out from the large brown center of a sunflower standing in a field of dozens of sunflowers
Stephanie Nantel / Getty Images

A native to the prairies of North America, kids will love watching sunflowers grow tall as they track the sun each summer day. Mammoth varietes of the flower can grow to be 15 feet tall with flower heads reaching a gigantic one foot in diameter. Seeds from some types, like the Russian mammoth, make for a delicious, roasted snack.

Plant Care Tips

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Average, moist, and well-drained.
5
of 10

Wild Strawberries (Fragaria virginia)

Red wild strawberries growing in a large patch

Heltai Gabor / Getty Images

The sweet and tarty flavor of wild strawberries is the perfect reward for tending to this perennial plant. Children will enjoy mulching the strawberry plants with straw and connecting its name to this practice. And don’t forget about dessert — bake wild strawberries into a pie or use them to top off a bowl of vanilla ice cream.

Plant Care Tips

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade.
  • Soil Needs: Fertile, moist to dry-mesic, and well-drained.
6
of 10

Lettuce (Lactuca sativa)

Rows of lettuce and carrot plants in vegetable garden

David Burton / Getty Images

Whether you plant iceberg, romaine, or loose-leaf, lettuce is quick to grow from seed to harvest, ensuring that kids will not lose their patience while waiting. Be sure that the lettuce is watered consistently and that it receives some shady relief from the intensity of the summer sun.

Plant Care Tips

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade.
  • Soil Needs: Fertile, moist, and well-drained.
7
of 10

Carrots (Daucus carota)

Orange carrot growing in vegetable garden

Laurence Mouton / Getty Images

While slow to grow, carrots are easy to maintain and fun for kids to pull out from the dirt. Carrots can be planted in raised beds, which will be simple for kids to work with, and should be covered in a light and loose layer of compost. Have the kids sample the carrots raw or try them in a summer veggie stir-fy.

Plant Care Tips

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Loose, fertile, and well-drained.
8
of 10

Pumpkins (Cucurbita maxima)

Curbita maxima (Pumpkin) ripening in vegetable garden changing colour from green to orange
Will Heap / Getty Images

Pumpkins are a fantastic plant for kids if you have a decent-sized garden patch. The seeds sprout in only seven days and after a few more days, the vines start creeping along the ground. Soon enough, the vines blossom and baby pumpkins start to emerge. Pumpkins take 80 to 120 days to mature, but kids will get to watch them grow. If you make this a mid-summer crop, you'll be able to carve one for Halloween.

Plant Care Tips

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Fertile, organically rich, and well-drained.
9
of 10

Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum)

A bundle of potatoes freshly harvested from the ground

Josh Graciano / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

A delicious treasure of any vegetable garden, children will love to "hunt" for potatoes buried in the ground. Potatoes rely on lots of sun and room to reach their full potential, so plan your garden accordingly. Teach your kids the versatility of cooking with potatoes by using them in recipes for soups, fries, or, simply, the classic baked potato.

Plant Care Tips

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Sandy and well-drained.
10
of 10

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

Bright green clusters of mint growing in the summer sun

PhotoStock-Israel / Getty Images

Of the many herbs that are easy to grow from seed, peppermint is a great one to plant with kids. Peppermint is a beautifully fragrant herb and an especially strong grower that kids will just love. Even if your kids skip the watering more than they should and occasionally stomp on the plant, it will still produce. For more fun, teach your kids how to garnish their tea with a a couple of freshly picked peppermint leaves.

Plant Care Tips

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade.
  • Soil Needs: Rich and moist.