Urban Gardening

From July 2007 E-newsletter

Child-Friendly Plants for Small Spaces

Children love to dig in the dirt. They may not understand "perennial" or "alkaline," but they're curious about worms and beetles and colorful flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Gardening is a great way to get kids outside, active, and interested in the natural world, no matter whether your garden is a few deck planters or a backyard or community plot. Start with some of these easy-to-grow, colorful, and fun plants:

Annuals

  • Nasturtium (Tropaeolum cultivars) — large seeds; quick germination; mounds of decorative, round leaves; bright edible flowers

  • Balsam or Touch-Me-Not (Impatiens balsamina) — easy germination; shade tolerant; bright flowers; seedpods that explode when touched

  • 'Bright Lights' cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus 'Bright Lights') — easy germination; drought tolerant; bright flowers

  • Dwarf sunflower (Helianthus annuus cultivars) — large seeds; quick germination; drought tolerant; bright flowers

Veggies

  • 'Sungold' tomato (Lycopersicon 'Sun Gold') — easy care; lush growth; fragrant leaves; plentiful, cherry-sized, sweet, orange fruits

  • 'Chilly Chili' pepper (Capsicum 'Chilly Chili') — easy care; drought tolerant; colorful, mild chile peppers

  • Purple bush bean (Phaseolus vulgaris cultivars) — large seeds; quick germination; colorful bean pods

  • Mini pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo cultivars) — large seeds; quick germination; decorative fruits; edible fruit and seeds

  • Vidalia onion (Allium cepa 'Vidalia') — easy planting; pest resistant; large, edible bulbs; fun to dig or pull at harvest

Herbs

  • Dill (Anethum graveolens) — quick germination; airy, yellow flowers; edible; food source for swallowtail butterflies

  • Spearmint (Mentha spicata) — easy care; shade tolerant; drought tolerant; fragrant leaves; flavorful in drinks

From July 2007 E-newsletter

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