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Growing An Editable Garden For Children

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One of the best ways to encourage children to grow a garden to develop a range of skills is to create an editable garden. An edible garden is a garden that contains flowers, herbs, seeds, berries and plants that can be eaten.

Designing An Edible Garden

Editable does not have to be large. It can start small with a few pots and containers, or even just a window box with a few herbs.

When planning an edible garden, some suggestions include:

  • Space – Where to create the garden? How big will it be?
  • Position - A sunny spot with easy access to water will work well and partial shade.
  • Veggies - What Would You Like To Grow and Eat

What To Plant In The Edible Garden

When planning what to plant in an edible garden, you can include:

  • Favourite fruits, vegetables, herbs.
  • Sensory appeal – grow plants you like to see, smell or touch such as herbs are a good example.
  • Climate – consider which plants are best suited to the local climate

Editable Flowers, Herbs and Vegetables

Flowers and herbs can be used in salads, can add flavour to cooked dishes, and can be made into teas or used as a garnish.

Vegetables, fruits and many plants can be eaten raw or cooked.

Examples of flowers, herbs and plants that are suitable for an edible garden include:

Flowers

  • borage,
  • carnation,
  • chamomile,
  • chrysanthemum,
  • fuchsia,
  • geranium,
  • hibiscus,
  • hollyhock,
  • honeysuckle,
  • impatiens,
  • lavender,
  • lemon blossom,
  • lilac,
  • marigold,
  • nasturtium,
  • pansy,
  • rose,
  • salvia
  • violet

Herbs

  • rosemary,
  • basil,
  • chives,
  • sage,
  • mint,
  • oregano,
  • parsley
  • thyme
  • coriander

Seeds and Berries

  • blueberries,
  • mulberries,
  • pumpkin and
  • sunflower seeds

Fruits –

  • kiwi fruit,
  • strawberries and
  • passionfruit


Veggie Garden - 

Vegetables that are good choices and easy to grow to include:

  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • cherry tomatoes,
  • strawberries,
  • peas
  • lettuce, 
  • tomatoes, 
  • silverbeet, 
  • corn, 
  • capsicum 
  • beans

To add interest and colour to the vegetable garden you can include:

  • Marigolds
  • Nasturtiums
  • Mint
  • Dill
  • Sunflowers
  • Zinnias

Gardening Activities For Children

Young children are curious and highly motivated to learn new skills like gardening and cooking. With adult encouragement in a safe, carefully prepared, and supervised environment, growing and cooking abilities can advance rapidly, aligned with age-appropriate activities:

Appropriate activities for two-year-olds include:

  • pushing child-size wheelbarrows
  • watering plants with help from a teacher
  • pushing large seeds, such as beans and peas, into the soil
  • observing insects and ripening produce

Appropriate activities for three-year-olds include:

  • mixing soil to prepare garden beds
  • planting large seeds and seedlings
  • filling up watering cans
  • watering plants
  • pulling weeds
  • observing plant growth
  • comparing leaf shapes
  • describing the appearance of fruits and vegetables

Appropriate activities for four- and five-year-olds include:

  • shovelling compost and mulch
  • raking soil to prepare garden beds
  • planting small seeds and seedlings
  • harvesting ripe produce
  • training and weaving vines onto a trellis or fence
  • collecting seeds
  • filling up watering cans
  • watering plants
  • pulling weeds
  • identifying garden insects
  • weighing produce
  • comparing shapes and sizes of produce
  • observing insects and birds
  • drawing garden scenes or items

Creating an edible garden enables children to develop sustainability practices and brings an abundance of learning opportunities such as understand how food is grown, the lifecycle of a plant and more!.

References:
Gardening, Planning An Editable Garden, Better Health Victoria 
Gardening Know-How: Children And Vegetable Gardens: How To Make A Vegetable Garden For Kids, Gardening Know-How 
Growing and Cooking Vegetables In A Childcare Centre, NSA Education 

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