Gardening is a great educational experience for children, and herb gardening is perfect for kids and beginners because most herbs are easy to grow. They generally require very little maintenance and can survive through a bit of abuse and neglect.
The best part is that the kids love seeing that they can grow something and then eat it! My girls started planting seeds when they were two years old. You start with just one task, and then they can work up to more.
You can start with your seeds and frugal containers or choose from some of the grow kits we shared at the end of this article.
Your children may not even know about all the beautiful herbs out there, so it’s great to teach them about all the different types. They can learn what each herb looks like when it’s fresh, what the herbs smell like, and the various uses for each style.
An herb garden is a great way to excite your child about the outdoors and learn more about plants. A small three-to-five plant variety should be enough for beginners, but it’s even better if they have the room!
You want this experience (which can take some time) as fun, so don’t overdo it with extensive gardens early on –that will only make things stressful instead of enjoyable!!
You might want to start kids out with a “pizza garden.” First, you’ll help your child grow some of the commonly used herbs on pizza. Since children love pizza, they should be able to relate to this type of garden very well. They’ll also have fun knowing what goes into one of their favorite foods.
A typical ” pizza garden” will contain basil, oregano, and perhaps thyme and parsley.
You could also let the child grow some of the other things that often go into pizza sauce, like garlic and Roma tomatoes. If you want to make the garden larger by helping, you can add some typical pizza toppings like peppers and onions.
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Children will also enjoy growing significantly- scented herbs. You can get all kinds of excellent herbs that smell like different scents. Flowers can also go well in this type of garden. For example, some geraniums are scented like orange, strawberry, lime, and apricot!
Different types of mint are also favorites with children, and they often enjoy chewing the leaves of plants like spearmint.
Just tell your children they should never eat any plant without asking you first! And keep that mint in a container. It will take over any garden space otherwise.
You can also use herb gardening to teach children about the differences between varieties of the same type of plant.
For example, planting several different varieties of basil can help kids understand that there can be many types of the same animal or plant.
You could plant globe basil, Thai basil, lemon basil, and purple basil. Your child can learn the differences and similarities to see that things can be similar yet very different. An herb garden is a perfect way to teach children responsibility.
They’ll learn that they have to take care of their garden regularly. If they don’t, they’ll see that there are consequences to skipping duties. Then, when some of their plants start to wither and die, they’ll see how important it is to keep up with their tasks.
Perhaps most importantly, herb gardens can give kids something to be proud of. They’ll get a significant boost in their self-esteem when they successfully grow something that you can use in a meal, and they’ll enjoy learning!
To Recap The Best Herbs to Grow From Seeds for Beginners are:
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Basil is the first herb on our list, and for good reason. This annual plant is one of the easiest herbs to grow from seed1. It thrives in full sun or warm shade, so it’s perfect for those sunny spots in your garden.
Basil prefers well-drained soil and needs regular watering, but be careful not to overwater! If you’re short on garden space, basil grows well in containers. And once it’s grown, basil is a delicious addition to pasta, pizza, and salads.
English Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Next up is English Thyme, a perennial herb that’s hardy in zones 5-92. This little powerhouse of flavor likes full sun and well-drained soil. It’s also drought-tolerant, making it a great low-maintenance option. Thyme is perfect for container gardens and adds a wonderful flavor to roasts and stews.
Greek Oregano (Origanum vulgare hirtum)
Greek Oregano is another perennial herb that’s easy to grow from seed. It thrives in zones 5-10 and prefers full sun and well-drained soil.
Like thyme, oregano is drought-tolerant and ideal for container gardening. Use it fresh or dried in your Mediterranean dishes for a punch of flavor.
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
Parsley is a biennial herb that’s hardy in zones 5-9. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.
Parsley needs regular watering but can handle some drought. It’s also great for container gardens. Use parsley as a garnish or in soups, sauces, and salads for a fresh, vibrant flavor.
5. Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)
Lastly, we have Cilantro, an annual herb that is easy to grow from seed. It prefers full sun or light shade and well-drained soil. Cilantro needs regular watering, so keep the soil moist. You can grow it in a container if you’re short on space. Use fresh cilantro in salsas, curries, and salads for a zesty kick.
So there you have it, my green-thumbed friends! Five easy-to-grow herbs that are perfect for beginner gardeners. Remember, every gardener was once a beginner, so don’t be discouraged if things don’t go perfectly at first. Just keep planting, watering, and learning. Happy gardening!
Let us know what you plan to grow with your kids this summer!
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