With the last frost due later this month, it’s time to get the gardening season off to a start with the kids. We have a brand new garden and as we turn it from a blank canvas into a family garden I really want the kids to join in. The plans include flower beds (and a cutting bed so I can have fresh flowers in the house regularly), food in our vegetable beds as well as some herbs that will find their way into the kitchen. But, as anyone that has tried to grow their own flowers and food knows it can take a lot of time and children aren’t the most patient of creatures. So I’ve put together my list of Quick Growing Seeds for vegetables and flowers are ideal for growing at home with the kids or in the classroom.
My kids love the starting growing, the soil, the seeds and the initial watering of the plants but waiting weeks for them to sprout through the surface and then months to show their beauty or to eat they lose interest. Now these flowers are great for the UK and many are available in other countries or ones of the same type but a different variety.
Fast Growing Flower Seeds for Kids
- Morning Glory – This climbing plant opens the flowers in the morning and then closes at night. Liking a sunny site it’s easy to grow and pretty too. But be aware that the seeds are poisonous so growing with young children supervision is especially important with these pretty flowers.
- Sweet Peas – A traditional English Cottage flower and perfect for growing with the kids as well as having the added advantage of attracting bees and other pollinators to your garden. Sweet peas are perfect for growing up the trellis or in a wigwam and you can pick and place in vases around the home or classroom.
- Nasturtium – So easy to grow, sprinkle into prepared soil and then water, weed and watch as these bright colourful and EDIBLE flowers grow. Plus they are a companion plant and great natural pest control in the vegetable garden. They are also relatively cheap and will flower all summer long.
- Try these egg carton seed trays to grow the seeds in before you plant out to the garden.
- Marigolds – Another edible flower these really easy to grow pretty flowers looks great in the garden, whether grown in pots or in the soil they will brighten the day. Like Nasturtium’s they are also natural pest control in the gardens especially around tomatoes, strawberries, potatoes, beans, squash…. They also attract bees to the garden another great benefit that will help other flowers bloom and your vegetables grow.
- Poppies – Although the traditional red poppies are a weed and will grow anywhere soil has been disturbed there are so many different sorts and they are very very easy to grow. Plus once you start growing them because they self-seed the area you can guarantee that for many years to come you will have lots and lots of poppies in the garden.
- Sunflowers – Each day over the summer holiday as a child my brother and I would race outside after breakfast as we took part in our annual sunflower growing competition. Which one of us would grow the biggest sunflower? We cared for those sunflowers and measured them daily. Then when they were grown and they got tall the flowers would appear, providing seeds for the birds for the autumn and winter.
- Snapdragons – although they take a little longer to grow than some of the other plants mentioned snapdragons are great to grow in the garden with the kids, plus the flowers are edible too although can be bitter and may not be to some children’s taste.
- Wallflowers – another English cottage garden favourite wallflowers are lightly scented and look good. They also survive in poor soil (so great for the edge of school playgrounds) and like the sun or semi shade. They come in a variety of bright warm colours that really add a splash to the garden.
- Spring Bulbs – Ok so not technically quick but once they appear in the spring these bulbs will brighten the day, mix up what you plant with some crocuses, daffodils, irises, snowdrops, alliums and tulips and throughout the spring the children will see the plants appear. Check out our planting a rainbow to find the sort of bulbs we choose to have the biggest impact in our garden.
- NB – Foxgloves are also quick growing – these pretty but TOXIC wildflowers are easy to grow but children should be kept away from them as all parts are toxic. However, they are great for a wildflower garden and do grow quickly plus come back. They attract bees and other pollinators to the garden and do look pretty. They also grow in shadier areas – but again keep them away from children there is a huge temptation to use those pretty little bell shaped flowers for things like fairy hats or cups.
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Edible Seeds to Grow with Kids in the Classroom
Flowers look great in the garden but it’s always good to have some edible seeds growing as these are a great way to encourage children to try new foods.
- Salad Bowl Lettuce – with many different varieties available a mixed pack of lettuce seeds are ideal for growing with kids. You will find some are specific to a country like Italian seeds or maybe just a mixed bowl. Don’t worry about growing these and getting the perfect shape they are meant to be eaten young so unlike trying to grow iceberg or little gems kids can sow the seeds, water, weed and eat within a couple of weeks.
- Mustard or Cress Seeds – ideal for growing indoors like we did with our caterpillars these are one of the easiest seeds to propagate and you don’t even need soil to do it. Cress are a less spicy alternative but mustard seeds add a little spice to a sandwich when picked, washed and eaten.
- Beans – with so many varieties to choose from these legumes grow quickly and are perfect for some early botany experiments like growing in glass jars to see what happens under the soil. You can even use them to create a natural teepee in the garden, an ideal reading nook in the summer months that you can reach up and have a snack from at the same time.
- Carrots – not as easy to grow as some of the vegetables and flower mentioned but one of the favourite vegetables of many children carrots can even be grown in containers so reducing the need for a vegetable plot. Just make sure if you do grow in the vegetable garden that you sieve the soil first to remove any stones otherwise you will have wonky carrots!
- Radishes– really quick growing these peppery vegetables are ideal on salads and come in many different varieties. I normally grow them in between slower growing plants so that the soil stays weed free and we get tasty treats from the garden to go with our salad bowl lettuce.
- Chives and other herbs – Grow your own herbs with the kids, chives are quick and easy to grow and the purple flowers are pretty in the garden. Other herbs that kids will love growing are ones that they will enjoy cooking with – mint, basil, oregano, corridaner/cilantro , rosemary. We plan to have a herb wheel but mainly grow these in pots near the kitchen door or throughout the year on the kitchen window sill.
Buy your Seeds Here ->
We have included affiliate links to seeds and other gardening products ideal for use with kids.
Below are all of the seeds linked to either Thompson and Morgan (UK only) or Amazon.
- Morning Glory Morning Glory Seeds online at Thompson and Morgan or Amazon
- Sweet Peas Sweet Pea Seeds in the UK or Amazon
- Nasturtiums Nasturtium Tom Thumb brightly coloured mix in the UK or Mixed Colour Nasturtium US from Amazon.
- Marigolds Marigold seeds from Thompson and Morgan in the UK or Amazon.
- Poppies ladybird poppies in the UK and Amazon
- Sunflowers Russian Giants in the UK or the Mongolian Giants from Amazon
- Snap Dragons purple twists in the UK are one of my favourites and these White Spanish ones from Amazon.
- Wallflowers My Fair Lady mix from Thompson and Morgan in the UK or an English Garden Mix from Amazon.
- Salad bowl mixed lettuce Seeds – Bright and Spicy in the UK or Mesclun on Amazon
- Cress or Mustard Seeds – Extra Curled (UK) and Fine Curled on Amazon
- Beans – Runner beans are smaller plants and grow quicker than other varieties Speedy in the UK has a great taste and one of the heirloom varieties available on Amazon looks pretty as it grows as well as tasting great.
- Carrots – Carrot Parmex are perfect for kids producing little round carrots in the UK and why not try growing Little Finger carrots perfect for kids available on Amazon.
- Radish – Try French Breakfast in the UK or how about Radish Watermelon on Amazon.
- Herbs – Pick variety packs that let you sample different herbs like the Herb Collection in the UK or this themed herb collection from Amazon.
Top Tips for Gardening and Growing Plants with Kids
- Use unusual containers – old boots, egg shells, tea pots, old pans all make for great pots
- Have everything to hand – compost/soil, seeds, watering can
- Make sure you have equipment that the kids can handle
- Teach the kids not to over water – start off putting less water than needed in the watering can and show them what it should look like when they water
- Get them to help to weed around the plants, plant out, water, feed and harvest
More Ideas for Growing Seeds with Kids
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