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Project #1 -- Small Vegetables

A good way to get your child interested in gardening

Sometimes with kids, size really does matter. If they're underwhelmed with your attempts to get them growing stuff, think small. If you were only 36" tall, cucumbers would be longer than your leg and peppers half as big as your face.

Scale the food to fit the child. Lose the state fair mentality. Bigger is definitely not better when gardening with kids. There are teeny vegetables for any taste. As an added bonus, small varieties mature faster than their all grown up cousins.

Start with a container about knee-high to the child. Drainage, soil, and sun need to be excellent (see Dr. Botnic and The Care Counselor for more information) - remember that success breeds happiness for young gardeners.

Organize with a theme, like salad ingredients or spring flowers. Use transplants for quick results, either home-grown or store bought. Make itsy-bitsy plant markers. Edge with tiny flowers. How about little stone paths?

Help your youthful grower recognize the changes that happen daily. Foiling "bad-guy" insects takes sharp eyes and attention, but little time. When everything's producing, have a meal to celebrate.