If you ask the average kid what they think about vegetables, you’ll get a scrunched-up face and some form of this statement: “Ew! Disgusting!”
Why do kids hate vegetables so much? Although there are many small reasons, one primary reason is that children today do not have any ownership of the vegetable they are eating.
Going to the store for canned or frozen vegetables creates a different perspective than tending to the vegetables in the garden. When kids are working hard to create their own vegetables, they’re more likely to eat them and like them.
To encourage more gardening, designate specific areas of your garden for your favorite dishes. You could plant a pizza garden with oregano, thyme, and tomatoes. Another fun option is to plant a salad garden.
What You Will Need to Grow Your Own Salad
Ask your child what they would like to have in their salad. Then secure the seeds you’ll need to grow those items. You may hear some ridiculous answers here, like, “How can I grow a turkey in the garden?”
Just smile and redirect the conversation back to the vegetables.
Now here’s the best part: you can grow a salad garden inside with some quick-mature greens. Besides the seeds, you’ll need these items too.
- A container for planting your seeds.
- Potting soil.
- Feeding sticks, compost, mulch, or fertilizer.
Once you’ve selected your seeds and have the containers needed to create your garden, you will want to follow these steps.
Step #1: Fill the container with soil.
You’ll want to have enough soil in the container to plant the seeds at their proper depth. Then place the container in a location where you’ll be able to give it at least 8 hours of sunlight. For some homes, that may mean setting the container outside during the day.
Step #2: Plant the seeds.
Follow the instructions for planting that are on the seed packet. You can grow different vegetables in the same container. Just make sure that the light levels are similar for each container you grow. Each seed should be at least once inch apart from the others.
Step #3: Water your garden as needed.
Before the seeds germinate, the soil should remain moist and warm. As the plants start to grow, look to see what color the leaves are. If they turn yellow or pale, then you will need to give them some type of fertilizer.
Step #4: Harvest your garden.
Once your greens have grown to be a few inches tall, you can begin to harvest them. Instead of taking the whole plant, try taking a few leaves at a time. That way, you’ll be able to let the plants keep growing.
Lots of kids have a vision of growing big heads of lettuce like you get at the store when you start this type of garden project. You’ll want to remind them that you’re growing a salad in a different way, so the results will be different. Once the plant stems become thick with small leaves, it will be time to start the salad garden project over again.