Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What are Age Appropriate Vegetables for Little Children

What vegetables should you plant for little children. When they were 3 years old our children wanted to help in the garden. But little fingers and little seeds are a difficult mix. So what to do?

We found that some vegetables with larger seeds that they could help with and we could then encourage their involvement. One of the easiest in this catagory is onion sets and onion plants. You can show a young child which side is the root and which is the growing tip and how far apart to plant. If they get it upside down it isn't the end of the world and can be easily fixed by an older child or parent. Mark the row with a shallow groove with a hoe so the child knows how to plant. Make the experience exciting, teach care and tenderness toward the plants.

Another easy spring vegetable to get children involved in is planting potatoes. Mom and dad need to cut up the potatoes into seed pieces (please use gloves to protect your hands). Then dig the holes where you want the hills to be. Let your children plant the seed pieces in the holes.

A nice fall planted vegetable to let children help with is garlic. Each garlic clove when planted becomes a head next year. The children can help break the heads into cloves. Pick the biggest cloves to plant (eat the small ones). Then plant the cloves about 6 inches apart in rows. You can also mark the spot where you want the cloves to be planted with the end of the handle of the hoe. Show your child how to plant the basel plate (root side) down and the pointed tip up. Don't cover the cloves until you inspect them and correct any problems.

Reed planted several rows upside down one Saturday when he was five. I always inspected what the children did when they were little and when I discovered the error I asked him to correct this. So for about 1/2 hour we could see his blond little head bobbing down the row turning cloves over. . Needless to say he never did this again and learned a valuable lesson even at the age of 5. It is important that you not criticize young ones but encourage the right approach.

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