Gardening: Fun things for growing kids to grow at home | Lifestyles: Food, Home, Health

You don’t have to have a big yard to get kids involved in gardening. It’s perfectly fine – and often wise – to start small, including growing flowers, vegetables and herbs in containers (even a child’s own pots for planting).

Here are some options for your home garden, but talk to garden center employees for other ideas – like what to plant to attract butterflies. Always read labels for when and how to plant, site selection, water and light requirements, etc.

• Sunflowers are a favorite. Cosmos and purple coneflowers are just a few other choices.

• Colorful edibles include tomatoes of different colors (orange, yellow, red). Lettuces come in different colors and textures. suggests checking out vegetables that come in unusual colors, shapes, and sizes. Speckled beans, for example. Don’t forget the pumpkins.

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• Lamb’s Ear, a perennial plant with silver-grey foliage, is a delight for children because it is soft and hairy.

• Grow pole beans on a tower made of poles tied at the top or some other type of structure.

• Pizza gardens planted with tomatoes, basil and other toppings are popular – handy for DIY pizza parties. has ideas for planting other fun themed gardens, such as butterfly, rainbow, snack and salad gardens.

• Don’t forget the other herbs: dill, parsley, chives, lemon balm, various mints.

• Think beyond plants. Bring the family together to paint stones or flower pots for the garden.

• Reminder: From an early age, children should learn never to eat anything from the garden (at home or elsewhere) without checking with a parent or supervising adult.

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