I’m a gardening expert – here are some of the easiest and most rewarding crops to grow with your children

WITH the sun finally breaking through the clouds, children will be more tempted to swap the tablets with time outdoors.

And it’s worth encouraging your little ones to help you in the garden, as it teaches them about nature, as well as hard work and patience.

From carrots to edible flowers, there are plenty of crops that require little effortCredit: Getty

But as the latter two is something most children, especially the younger ones, tend to lack, an expert has revealed some of the crops that are the most rewarding to grow with your youngsters – and also require the least effort.

“If you watch children closely, they’ll show you what crops they like best,” said Julia Watkins, the author of Gardening For Everyone: Growing Vegetables, Herbs, and More at Home.

”At my house, they gravitate towards plants that can be eaten fresh in the garden or ones that make planting and harvesting feel like play.”

She explained that for a child, ”pulling a potato out of the soil is like digging for buried treasures”

Julia shared the easiest crops to grow with your little helpers, as shared on Life Hacker.

SUGAR SNAP PEAS

Sweet and crunchy, not only are sugar peas great for snacking but are also relatively quick to grow.

Typically germinating in around ten days, they are ready to be munched on in less than two months, according to Julia.

”If you save a few pods, you can dry the seeds, store them in an airtight container, and plant them the following year, so your children learn first-hand the full cycle of a seed.”

RADISHES

Full of vital nutritional elements, radishes are also known ”springers” due to the very short time they take to sprout from the soil.

The little red globes will usually begin to sprout just a few days after being planted and within 30 days will be ready to be picked.

Growing for most part of the year – from spring to fall – radishes make for the perfect garden addition to plant with your kids.

CARROTS

Coming in all shapes, sizes and colours, carrots can be the most fun root vegetable to plant.

According to Julia, they grow well in deep pots – which gives the child the perfect opportunity to take care of a small ecosphere they can be in charge of.

”If you give kids their own beds or pots to grow their crops, they’ll be more likely to take ownership of planting, growing, watering, tending and harvesting their plants.”

LETTUCE

A must-have in any child’s garden, not only does lettuce grow quickly and require relatively little effort but also gets your kid to experiment with eating salads – a near impossible mission most parents know the struggle of.

Most varieties of this leafy green reach maturity in about a month’s time.

CHERRY TOMATOES

No salad’s complete without these small red balls of juicy goodness – and kids love them.

Small and vibrant in colour, cherry tomatoes can be picked directly off the vine – a duty your kid will be more than happy to take over.

As perennials, strawberries will come back the following year with almost no effort required

As perennials, strawberries will come back the following year with almost no effort requiredCredit: Getty – Contributor

PUMPKINS

Although pumpkins do not offer speed – your small gardener will have to wait until the autumn months – this large berry (yes, in technical terms pumpkins are berries) does offer large seeds.

These are fun for children to sow in small windowsill pots in early spring and afterwards be transported to the garden once the vines start growing.

STRAWBERRIES

When it comes to picking the perfect fruit and vegetable, almost none compare to the sheer excitement children have when they’re looking for the ideal strawberry.

Not only are they delicious nutrition powerhouses, strawberries belong to the perennial family – meaning the plants will come back the year after with almost no effort required.

POTATOES

Mashed, fried, hashed and boiled, potatoes are a classic in almost every child’s daily diet.

To make it even more exciting, try growing gold, red, purple and even blue spuds – your children will love it.

EDIBLE FLOWERS

While we usually associate crops with your five-a-day vegetables and fruit, flowers, such as violets, chamomile and hibiscus, are also a great addition to your garden – one that kids will appreciate just as much.

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Fresh or dried, these flowers can be used to decorate your baking creations, flavour drinks, salads, jellies, refreshing popsicles and more.

Although they’re typically low-maintenance, make sure to only grow from seeds as commercially-grown flowers often contain harmful pesticides.

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