Updated/Fact-Chacked on March 17, 2022 by John
While patience is a virtue, kids easily get bored, so you have to select fast-growing seeds to keep them engaged in the gardening process.
When gardening with small children, you need to choose seeds that are not too particular about how they’re planted, that are really easy to handle, and need little to no maintenance and basic seed growing knowledge.
All these seeds we’ve listed below germinate in just a couple of days, making them great options for budding young gardeners:
Watercress is one of the fastest and easiest sprouting plants, with green heads popping up as fast twenty-four hours or planting, and within three to four days, if it’s slow.
Watercress is ready for harvesting within five to seven days, or as soon as they hit 1.5 – 2.0 inches In height.
Cress can be grown at any time of the year, and it is best to sow seeds together in a tight-knit row and then place them under direct sunlight.
Spinach is a fantastic fast-growing choice. When you use primed seeds (the seeds have been soaked beforehand), you can expect the seeds to sprout within five days of planting. Without priming, spinach still sprouts in an impressive 10 days.
Spinach is typically harvestable within 30 days of it being sowed. To avoid the plants growing bitter, make sure they’re in light shade, especially during the summer.
Lettuce is a fast germinating seed. Lettuce seeds typically germinate within five to ten days, depending on light and temperature.
Lettuce is a recommended pot garden plant for children as it can be typically harvested within 21 days.
Radishes are a tasty and super healthy food that are easy to sprout and fun to watch as they grow.
Radishes are low maintenance, and they germinate within four or five days when planted at their optimal temperature, which is around about 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the seeds are a little older or the soil a little cooler, radish seeds may take as long as ten days before they sprout.
Radish seeds can germinate and produce an edible plant in about thirty days.
Peas need lots of water and good soil, and they pop up in an average of seven to ten days.
Squirrels love to dig peas up, so plant them where these furry rodents can’t get to them.
Peas are climbing plants, so they will need support when they pop up and gain a few inches. Harvesting can start within sixty to seventy days from when their seeds are planted.
Pumpkin seeds are easy to plant as you can put them in a ziplock bag with damp paper towels or in little plastic cups.
Pumpkin seeds sprout pretty quickly, so have a place ready outside to transfer the plant once the seeds start sprouting.
It is worth noting that kids love decorating pumpkins, so it is a great future fun project that teaches them patience.
Pumpkin seeds need to be planted in May or June to prepare a full pumpkin garden for Halloween.
Marigolds are bright and colourful flowers. They are edible, and also easy to grow whether in the soil or grown in pots.
Marigolds are a natural pest control in the gardens, especially around beans, tomatoes, and potato plants.
Marigolds attract pollinators to your garden, which helps other vegetables and flowers bloom and grow.
Morning Glory is a climbing plant that opens flowers in the morning (hence its name) and closes its flowers at night.
Morning Glory is very easy to plant and grow, and it grows quickly and is very beautiful once fully bloomed.
Be aware that the seeds can be poisonous, so young children growing these flowers need adult supervision to avoid ingesting them.
Morning Glory seeds will germinate in as little as four days.
Sunflower seeds are well suited to small hands as they are big seeds and easily manageable for children. They will be amazed at the height they can grow in a single season and make them fall in love with flowers.
Sunflower seeds are versatile as the seeds can be harvested to feed birds or be useful for other projects once they grow.
Sunflower seeds meant for planting are usually treated with pesticides, so do be careful about kids eating them.
Tips for Gardening With Kids
Whether you are teaching your kids about flowers or growing a vegetable garden, gardening and planting seeds is an easy enough project for kids to engage in, but there are some tips and tricks you can use to make the process easier and more successful.
Let’s look at what these are:
Use child-sized tools
Kids will find it easier and more fun to use gardening tools suited to their size. Children’s gardening gloves and a child-sized trowel are all you need for weeding and planting.
Children crave autonomy over their actions. It is enough to show your child what to do and then let them do it. Try not to interfere too much, but be prepared to clean up their mess afterwards.
You should put the seeds and gardening equipment at an easily-accessible height that kids can reach while standing; this will make it much easier for them to use the tools and control where seeds and compost go.
A potting tray or electric propagator will help keep everything handy in one place. Alternatively, you can put an old groundsheet or blanket down in the garden and use it as a mat. It’s a great idea to bring out a towel so kids can wipe wet or mucky hands.
As long as you have some suitable containers, a watering can or spray bottles, and some quality soil, you don’t need much to get your kids started on growing their own vegetables and flowers.
Kids love picking flowers, playing, and digging around in the dirt. Planting and growing seeds is a good way to show kids the positive fruits of hard work.
It is a great way to get kids interested in eating vegetables if involved in the growing process of their own dinner. It also teaches them about being environmentally conscious which has to be a good thing.
Once you’ve settled on the seed(s) to plant, gardening is a really fun activity for kids. Remember to teach them not to overwater the plants and help with the weeding and the harvesting so they can see the full process.
Kids love participating and watching things grow. Use unusual containers like eggshells, old boots, or teapots as pots for your seeds to further interest your kids.
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>> How to speed up seed germination
>> Will grass seed grow if just thrown on ground?
>> How to care for seeds once sprouted
>> Seed compost v multi-purpose compost
>> Should you soak seeds before sowing?
John Green is a 46-year-old graphic designer living in Durham. John is RHS level 3 certified and owns an allotment in Durham.