Gardening and Kids

Updated on February 06, 2011
C.M. asks from New Baden, IL
14 answers

For those of you with a green thumb, what have you found that works well with your kids and gardening?

I'll be starting fresh this year - no garden currently. I'd rather do something that will not take hours upon hours to weed, cultivate, etc. I had done some research on container gardening and think it sounds like a great idea!!

Have you done any container gardening? What works well? Not so well? Fruits and veggies?

I even though about doing something called a pizza garden - oregano, onions, peppers, tomatoes, etc in a container. I thought my daughter would love that!!

Any gardening advice? I have a 2.5 year old and six month old....

3 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Houston on

the pizza garden sounds great. And kids love to play in the dirt.
also you may want to have a sand box avaiable in case they lose interest.

My son loves to watch me in the garden and sometimes he will help, especially with the shovel.

It's messy but it's good for them to see things grow.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Kansas City on

We have done lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries and blueberries in containers. They work well - just remember they need water every day! Here in Kansas sometimes twice a day during the really hot humid days. I know there are lots of herbs that grow well in containers and every year my daughter gets to pick out annuals for herself. She is 12 now but its something we have always done with her so she is completely responsible for her own containers. My son is planting gourds this year. I found it easier to give them their own area in the garden because I tend to want things done my way ;) They love it and its something they look forward to every year. They are so proud to show off their gardening skills to friends who come over and love being able to share some of their bounty!



answers from Eau Claire on

My fiance and I did a salsa/herb garden last year.. different kinds of tomatoes, different kind of peppers, onions, oregeno, parsley, basil.. We planted mint too - that was fun, because they spread like crazy. It was fun to watch them grow! One thing we learned was to make sure there is PLENTY of room in front of the tomatoes. They overtook everything, and our peppers didn't end up doing well.

With my kids, favorites have always been cherry tomatoes, green beans or snap peas, and strawberries. Strawberries work well in hanging containers too! My kids also really like when we plant flowers too!!



answers from New York on

My daughter loves to help me in the garden and has been doing it for years.

For the past 2 years we have planted herb garden in containers. Basil grows really well. Chives work well also. Although I've never tried it, I know several people who have had lots of sucess with tomatoes in containers.

You don't want to plant any type of veggies in containers that grow on vines, like cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, etc., also no root veggies like carrots.

For flowers you may want to try some bulbs in the ground. The only problem with that is it takes a long time for results.


answers from Wichita on

Pick a spot in your back yard that receives a lot of daytime sun. You can buy 3 or 4 boards from your lumber yard or home depot. You'll want the wide plank boards that are big enough to hold a large flower pot or planter. Use cinder blocks and create benches for your pots. I would make them stadium style, like the ones in the back are higher and lower as you get to the front. You can use long planters or pots and fill them with fertilized potting soil. I would plant tomatoes in the back as they grow tall. The thing to remember is the tallest plants go toward the back so they don't block the sun from the smaller plants. Herbs should be at the very front.



answers from Honolulu on

These things are easy and easy to grow in a container (that I have grown in containers or the ground myself):

cherry tomatoes
any herbs
lettuce or greens
lots of flowers
Peas (the kind with the edible pea pod)

For in the ground:
Broccoli raab

Also, go to and you will get a lot of ideas from there, ans what plants are nice/fun or containers etc. gardening tips.

Good luck,



answers from Kansas City on

Containers are a great place to start! Most of the easy-growing veggies are okay with a large container, and there is a lot of good advice online if you get google working for you. Some, like tomatoes, will need a support structure to stay upright, and a warning about tomatoes is that the green ones sometimes get picked when Mom doesn't want them to be... speaking from experience here! LOL

I think the pizza garden sounds great, adding zucchini to the list (very easy to grow from seed) and lettuce (VERY easy to grow, plant a little bit every couple of weeks through the entire season to keep a good supply for your salad to go with pizza/pasta. Basil, oregano, parsley, and thyme are some good herb choices.

My kids are now 4 and 5, so they will be much more helpful this year. At 2 and 3, they were interested in watering with the hose or watering cans and picking the green tomatoes. Hopefully you'll have some fun together!


answers from Kansas City on

We bought a little greenhouse kit at Wal Mart, and a bunch of seeds. I swear, you can almost watch them grow! They start to sprout within a week, then you can take the top off & let them grow a bit more before transplanting them to containers. I haven't gotten ours out of the containers and into the ground yet, but they seem to be doing well. Good luck & have a great time playing in the dirt with the kiddos!



answers from Kansas City on

We love our container plants. They are so much easier then the garden in the ground. Just get good soil and your plants will flourish. We have done potatoes, lettuce, spinach, and strawberries in containers. This year I plan on doing carrots, onions, and maybe brocolli in containers. Another mom mentioned that you can't do roots veggies in containers but that is not true. You just have to make sure that your container is deep enough for them. The 5 gallon buckets work really well. Sometimes the bakeries and places like that will give them to you for free or at minimal cost so don't go buy them at full price. They don't always have them on hand though so plan ahead a little. Also, try to find a horse barn or farm somewhere close that will give away their composted manure. Your plants will LOVE it and you don't have to spend so much money on dirt. Don't use manure on potatoes though. It will burn your potatoes and they won't grow. I highly recommend getting a gardening book that will help you with those kinds of little details.



answers from Kansas City on

Gardens are so great with kids. My son loves fruits and vegetabls and will often choose cherry tomatoes over cookies and I know I owe it all to our garden.

I haven't tried these, but my friends tried those Topsy Turvey tomato planters and loved them. Your kids might get a kick out of the upside down nature of those... and I saw some in Walmart yesterday for strawberries too.



answers from Kansas City on

My dad has really limited mobility so we planted a container garden for him last year, using 5 gallon buckets. You can get them for free from places like grocery stores/Walmart/Target (ask at the bakery - they get bulk cake frosting in them) or Subway/Mr. Goodcents (they get bulk pickles in them). Drill three 1/2" holes for drainage, fill 1/3 with gravel and the rest with a good mix of potting soil, humus, manure, etc. and voila! Instant garden!

We did tomatoes, eggplant, basil, peppers (all kinds) and other assorted herbs in them - they did great. Everything was big, tasty and produced tons of veggies for us. If you're creative, you can get a piece of wood lattice and do climbing/vining plants like cucumbers or melons. It would involve having stakes in the buckets, attaching the lattice and having 1-2 plants per bucket along the length of the lattice. Train the plants to grow up the lattice - we did this also and they were great.

I realize that pickle buckets and lattice aren't exactly attractive, but they're cheap, easy and everything grows well and IMO that's all that matters! :)

Good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

We had a huge garden at our last home (we moved last fall and I am SO looking forward to starting an even bigger garden this year). My boys always had a garden, so I just kept growing what I had been, and these were their favorites (I think you could do most in a container):

Tomatoes - especially the cherry ones. They can pick them and eat them right in the garden. If you buy plants designed for patios they'll do great in containers.

Green beans and sugar snap peas - you can do pole beans on trellises and run your peas up fences as well. Not sure how peas would work in a pot, but I would think that pole beans might do ok.

Broccolli - we eat a lot of broccolli in our house :) Last year I found plants that produced purple broccoli flowers! They were super fun.

I love the idea of a pizza garden!

Any kind of garden you can get done with little ones teaches them so much about life, patience, food, and it's a great thing to do together!

Good luck!


answers from Dallas on

Two years ago we planted pumpkins, and it was sooo much fun! They grow so fast you can watch them grow almost every day. The vines went everywhere! My boys loved helping me weed the garden and water and care for the pumpkins. We didn't plant any last year, and the boys missed it. We'll plant them again this year.



answers from Los Angeles on

Plant bulbs! There is nothing more rewarding. And they are big enough that even the little one, now about a year, right?, can handle it. When the daffodils, hyacinths, or tulips come up in 5 months, it will be a miracle and will really get the little ones interested in the 'magic' of a garden. Even the minor bulbs, like muscari, scilla, crocus and galanthus are fabulous -- and they come up even earlier.

You should be able to work the soil for another few weeks (3X as deep a hole as the bulb is tall - and plant it pointy side up) -- if you can find some bulbs at a good nursery, you will thank yourself for buying and planting them.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions