Planting a Child's Herb Garden

Planting a Child's Herb Garden

Planting a Child’s Herb Garden

An herb garden is a great way to introduce your child to the world of gardening. Most herb are easy to grow, take little maintenance, attract very few pests, and are able to handle infrequent watering once established. Best of all, herbs will engage your child’s senses.

The herbs best suited for a child’s garden will grow in a space with full sun or one that provides afternoon shade. If space is not available, herbs will grow very well in your favorite pots on the patio. Have your child decorate the pots to add an additional element of fun to the project.

When selecting herbs for the garden, consider safety. Make sure the plants are safe to handle and taste so as not to spoil the child’s interest in gardening.

Herbs plants can be divided into two main categories: annuals, which complete their life cycle in one growing season, and perennials, plants that live for three growing seasons or more. Here are suggestions for six easy-to-grow herbs to get you and your child started on your herb growing adventure .

Annual Herbs

  • Basil – this herb should be on the top of any kids list. It is a definite must as a topping for pizza
  • Dill– the dill plant has feathery leaves and a unique flavor and smell and will attract beneficial insects to the garden.
  • Parsley - While it may be most familiar as a garnish, parsley offers lots in the way of nutrition. It’s a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and healthful antioxidants.

Perennials

  • Chives — This onion relation is one of the prettiest herbs you can grow, sporting small domes of lavender flower clusters atop hollow, mildly onion-flavored stalks.
  • Mint — If you like variety, you’ll love mint. You can choose from peppermint, spearmint, pineapple mint, chocolate mint, apple mint, orange mint, and more! Mint might be best planted in a container as they can take over your garden when planted in the ground.
  • Thyme — This low-growing herb can be grown from seed or you can start with purchased plants. There are a number of varieties to choose from, including lemon thyme, German winter thyme, and orange thyme.

Most importantly, make the process fun!  Let your child make little signs to identify each plant, and give them some rocks to create their own landscape design. And, remember, don’t sweat the small stuff!  Rows don’t need to be straight and if they pull an herb plant thinking it was a weed, just use it as a teaching moment and replant it.

If you provide them with a fun and educational experience now, you will instill in them the joy of gardening for a lifetime!