All you need to get growing:
- Basic gardening equipment: trowels, gardening gloves, watering can
- Something to help them grow: Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Fruit & Veg Compost, Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Fruit & Veg Planter or Levington Tomorite Giant Planter with Seaweed
- Somewhere to plant your fruit & vegetables: pots of various sizes and/or raised beds and/or a vegetable patch
- And the seeds or seedlings!
Not every fruit or vegetable requires all of the above equipment, so check instructions for chosen plants before you get started. Once you have what’s required for your chosen fruit and veg, you and the kids are ready to get growing.
Here are 20 fruits and vegetables that are easy and fun to grow and they are listed from the fastest to slightly slower harvesting times:
- Radishes: Sow fortnightly from March to June for a continuous crop. Harvest from 3-4 weeks after sowing.
- Cut-and-come-again salad leaves: Trim the plants by cutting what is needed for the kitchen, then allow to grow before cutting again. Harvest from 6-8 weeks after sowing.
- French beans: Sow outdoors once the soil has warmed up from May to the end of June. Harvest 8-12 weeks from sowing.
- Spinach: Grow big and strong spinach plants (and kids!) in just 8-12 weeks. They grow best with sunlight and should be kept well-watered at all times.
- Spring onions: Perfect for salads, pastas and more, spring onions can be grown in pots or the ground and they’ll self-seed! Ready in just 8 weeks.
- Carrots: Sow the seeds indoors in a pot or outdoors in the ground. If your kids can’t wait the full 12 weeks when they are fully developed, you can eat the baby carrots!
- Tomatoes: These can be grown in a growbag, such as the Levington Tomorite Giant Planter, pot or ground, as long as it is a sunny spot. These can be planted after the last frost and will be ready to eat in 12 weeks.
- Peas: These can be sown anytime from March to June and can be harvested in 8-12 weeks. A fun activity with kids is to create the structures to hold up the stalks using canes, string or chicken wire.
- Lettuce: Small lettuces, such as Tom Thumb or Little Gem, take up less room and there is less wastage. Harvest from 8-14 weeks after sowing.
- Bell Peppers: Start your bell peppers early by growing them indoors initially until after the last frost. They need sunlight, so make sure they go in a sunny spot. Ready to harvest in 8-16 weeks.
- Beetroot: Sow at intervals from mid-March. Harvest from 11 weeks after sowing.
- Courgettes and Marrows: Sow outdoors once the soil has warmed up from May to the end of June. Compact, bushy varieties are better for small areas and containers. Harvest from 10-14 weeks from sowing.
- Potatoes: Early varieties are the best and give that new potato taste. Plant seed potatoes from mid- to late March for first earlies, early to mid-April for second earlies. Harvest in 12-14 weeks.
- Cucumbers: Deliciously refreshing and a favourite with many kids, cucumbers are best planted outdoors from April into deep pots. Ready in 12-16 weeks.
- Broad beans: Best sown in spring. Dwarf varieties need less space and no staking. Harvest around 14 weeks from sowing.
- Strawberries: Plant your strawberries in early spring (now!) to harvest in June and July, approximately 12-18 weeks from planting. Strawberries are a delicious treat and can be grown in hanging baskets, containers or in the ground.
- Raspberries: Similar to strawberries, these need to be planted soon but the rewards will be reaped come summer. Best growing in raised beds but will also grow in containers. Ready in 12-18 weeks but will regrow year on year!
- Runner beans: Sow outdoors once the soil has warmed up from May to the end of June. Harvest 12-14 weeks from sowing.
- Shallots: Plant shallot sets in February or March. Sets are quick to mature, producing a further 8 to 12 shallots each. Ready to harvest in 18 weeks.
- Onions: Onions are a slow burner, but also a store cupboard essential for most families, so worth getting the kids involved in this one. They are best grown in the open ground and will be ready in 18-21 weeks, if planted in early Spring.
Quick & Easy Cress
If you’re looking to pique your children’s interest in gardening, you could start by growing microgreens. These require very little time and financial investment but will keep them busy!
- Plant pot, or empty yoghurt pot with holes punched in the bottom
- Damp compost, such as Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Fruit & Veg Compost
- Spoon/small trowel
- Cress seeds
- If using a yoghurt pot, punch holes into the bottom. Place pot into a tray (to avoid any compost spillages!)
- Fill pots three-quarters of the way with moist compost
- Sprinkle seeds in and cover with clingfilm to retain moisture
- Keep compost damp
- Seedlings will sprout within a couple of days and the cress will be ready to harvest when it’s around 1 ½ – 2 inches high. This will take around 5-7 days!
- Snip off the stalks and enjoy in an egg and cress sandwich or salad!
For full instructions on how to grow all of these fruits and vegetables, please visit http://www.lovethegarden.com/