Digging in the dirt is one thing just about every child loves to do since they have a natural curiosity. Starting a garden at home with your child is a wonderful way for them to appreciate food and flowers. They will get the chance to nurture and grow something they can eat and be proud of, while learning important lessons about the environment. It is also a wonderful way to spend time together that does not cost much and that gets them some exercise outside without them thinking about it.
The spring and summer is the perfect time for kids to start a vegetable or flower garden since they will have lots of free time while out of school to tend it properly. The Houston, Texas heat can be a bit of a challenge, as we all know Texan summers can be extremely hot and humid and therefore it is important to choose the right place and items to plant so they will thrive in our climate. Below you will find some great tips and hints on starting the perfect garden with your children that they will love.
Potatoes – This is a very hearty, never fail crop easy for even the inexperienced to grow. To make it interesting with color for your child you might want to try red new potatoes.
Pumpkin – They will take two or so months to be ready to harvest but these are a must have. Children love pumpkins to decorate and make pies with.
Corn – Almost every child loves to munch on some corn on the cob so I highly suggest try planting some. Be aware though they do need lots of fertilizer or compost.
Zucchini – Is a great vegetable for a children’s garden since it is easy to grow. It will be up to the parents to come up with a way to cook them that the children will find fun and delicious.
Cherry Tomatoes – These will grow within about 60 to 70 days and they are kid sized so children love them. These are another planting that will also need lots of fertilizer and compost.
Radishes – One of the best to grow so your children will see quick results, they take about 20 to 30 days. The hotter the weather when planted will result in a hotter radish, so be aware of when you plant them.
Sunflowers – You will probably only want to plant a few since they take up quite a bit of room in your garden but they are a children’s favorite. In just one month they will be about two feet tall, and in about 8 weeks you will see the seeds. Be sure to plant the confectionary kind these are the ones to be eaten.
Nasturtiums – These colorful flowers are perfect for children not only for the vibrant colors but they grow well in tough conditions. They can even grow in questionable soil, in the hot sun and grow very quickly. They are pest resistant and are even edible.
Zinnia California Giant- Available in a large array of colors this flower that can measure up to 5 inches in diameter is perfect in drought prone areas. They quickly bloom in about 6 to 8 weeks and grow to two to three feet in height. They are easy maintenance which is great for a child’s garden. Also their vibrant blossoms also are known to attract butterfly’s and birds.
Black Eyed Susan’s – These perennial flowering plants grow well in drought and full sun which is perfect in our Houston heat. Their bright yellow petals and average three feet growing height make a stunning addition to any garden.
Blanket flower – This beautiful red and yellow flower can many times be seen growing roadside with other wildflowers in Texas. Your children will love these vibrant flowers and they are very tolerant of heat and sun. They also grow to a dramatic one to two feet in height, and flower perennially.
Having a garden in Houston with your children can have some challenges but is more than worth the reward. Here you can get many tips from Gardening experts in the Houston chronicle section. They have information on everything from starting your garden to maintaining it properly all year long. It is also important to get your child excited about gardening with their own tools. I have found many cute and child sized garden tools and accessories here. The vegetables and flowers I have detailed are just a few of many that grow well in our brutal Houston summers. If you read here you can get information on almost any flower you can imagine. And for all you need to know about vegetables to plant here is a great resource. Now is the perfect time of year for you and your children to get outside and finally start a garden of your own.
HoustonChronicle.com – www.chron.com/houstongardening/
Cheapseeds.com – www.cheapseeds.com/store/pages.php
Burpee.com – www.burpee.com/category/vegetables.do