Growing fruit and vegetables with your children has many benefits, not least because you save a bit of money at the supermarket. It’s also a great learning experience about where seeds are from and how plants grow, as well as an exercise in patience and possibly trying out some new flavours!
It doesn’t matter whether you have a small or big garden, or even just a patio or windowsill. There are lots of options which can be grown easily everywhere.
This retro salad favourite is pretty fool-proof to grow, which makes it perfect for small containers or tubs on an inside windowsill. You can grow the seeds either in a small amount of soil or even on wet cotton wool, and you can have fun creating pots with photos or faces on to grow their ‘hair’.
Like cress, lettuces are very easy to grow, and there are plenty of varieties to grow all year round. They are also quick to sprout, taking on average a fortnight to start showing plus they are ready to eat straight away.
Although the taste is somewhat unique, the texture and colour of radishes are appealing to children, especially if you grow a couple of varieties together to compare size and shape. Radishes are great for growing in container pots and should be ready about a month after sowing.
These are another winner in containers and don’t take a lot of maintenance, although they do take a bit longer to mature than other plants. Look for when the top of the carrot is popping up from the ground, and they should be a decent size. Be careful when you start to pull them out to not snap the leaves off. Otherwise, you’ll have to dig them out!
Again, this may not be an immediate favourite with children to eat, but it grows easily and provides an interesting comparison to lettuce leaves. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked and it’s brilliant for freezing. Once picked, you will see new growth with the leaves.
The smaller dwarf varieties of tomatoes are brilliant for growing on sunny windowsills or even in hanging baskets, with larger types being an excellent option for greenhouses. They do require more attention than other fruits, but the results are worth it!