What to Grow in an Heirloom Children’s Garden

During the 2021 season I was able to grow a few veggies in my son’s play yard that he enjoyed immensely. Can you say instant snack? This year I’m enlarging his garden area and I’m even installing a few small raised beds for us to play in now that he is a little older. These are the heirloom varieties that I have or will be growing in Bubba’s Garden and I thought I would share my ideas for a perfect kid’s garden!

All images are linked to their respective sources.

Basil, Mint, and other Herbs

Lemon Basil from Baker Creek

My son loves munching on culinary herbs like basil, mint, and dill. Lemon basil is a particular favorite of his! Herbs are surprisingly easy to grow from seed and most will come back year after year.

Sweet Peppers

Miniature Bell Peppers from SSE

Sweet peppers are a fun snack to add to a children’s garden! They come in many colors and sizes, but a miniature sweet pepper like the mini yellow bell pepper will ripen faster than other, larger varieties.

Mexican Sour Gherkins

Mexican Sour Gherkins from Baker Creek

These are the cutest cucumbers you’ll ever see! They can take a few weeks to set flowers but when they do, they’re a never-ending source of bite-sized goodness.

Cherry Tomatoes

Iglehart Cherry Tomato from SSE

Cherry tomatoes are pretty self-explanatory. Prolific, sweet, and colorful, they are a tasty addition to a kids garden area. Some of our favorites include red and yellow pear, black cherry, and bumblebee tomatoes.

Sweet Pea Currant

Sweet Pea Red Currant Tomato from Territorial Seed

While this may look like a tiny cherry tomato, it’s really a red currant; but it’s no less delicious! The teeny toms are often called “garden candy” and are renowned for being abundant and quick to ripen.

Red Noodle Beans

Red Noodle Beans from Baker Creek

These are especially fun when trained on a teepee! I like to choose varieties that are fun and different, and yard-long beans definitely fit the bill. They can be harvested at any point in their life cycle, and they’re wonderful for teaching kids about degrees of ripeness (and what that means for taste!).

Golden Sweet Pea

Golden Sweet Pea from SSE

I love to find vegetables that come in extraordinary colors, and yellow peas are one of our favorites! They’re easy to spot on the vine, and because pea plants can be more delicate they’re a good exercise in discipline for little ones. Two hands are required to pick these golden treasures and my 18-month old caught on very quickly that he needed to hold the stem while picking the pods!

Chives

Chives from SSE

This may seem like a strange choice for a kids garden but my son loves to pick and eat chives any time of day. He even likes to collect the flowers and bring them to me, which I soak in olive oil for a tasty salad dressing!

A kids garden can be an indispensable teaching tool and an enjoyable family activity. I can’t wait to expand ours this season, so please feel free to share your ideas for a kids garden in the comments!

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