Spring is officially here and although many parts of North America are still seeing winter weather, it's time to start planning your spring and summer gardens. If you have kids, introducing them to gardening and letting them help is a great way to teach them about where our food comes from and to get them excited about trying new fruits and vegetables.
This year, how about letting them have their own little garden to take care of? Many plants are well-suited for children because they're colorful, tasty, fast-growing and can take the abuse of imperfect watering. I've chosen 10 that should help turn your children into confident gardeners.
A few tips:
1. If your kids are very young, pick just two or three out of this list to start with and keep their section small. A couple of planters with a plant each would work well.
2. Teach your kids about the different parts of the plants, especially which parts are edible and which aren't. Some plants, like potatoes, have parts that are toxic. Make sure that they only sample the food they grow with your supervision.
3. Give your kids tools to use on their own like smaller versions of real metal tools and a watering can for gentle watering.
4. Expect things to be messy and know that the results will not be the same as in your garden patch, but let them take full ownership. This is just a way for them to explore gardening and learn to love the process. The more they do it and the older they get, the better they'll be at it.