Growing a herb garden with your children is a great experience but have you been feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of different herbs and different varieties of herbs?
Let’s start with the basics. We’ll go over the essentials and if you and your kids have been worried about starting to garden or if you have limited space, but you have a little bit of hope and the kids put in a little bit of time I really do believe that they will be able to grow a small herb garden of their own.
Indoor or Outdoor Herb Garden
The great thing about herbs is that your children can grow them in pots, on a windowsill and they can grow them indoors or outdoors. Just remember that some herbs will do better in direct sun, some herbs like partial sun and there are some herbs that will be okay in a certain amount of shade.
There are lots of herbs that are easy to contain in small areas and some herbs such as thyme that want to spread out and take over an area so make a plan before you start.
Don’t let your children get overwhelmed by the amount of different herbs and varieties. Let them pick 4 or 5 hardy herbs that are hard to kill and pick a sunny spot and they will be fine.
What are the Best Starter Herbs?
The best starter herbs for a beginner and children are the hardier perennial herbs. This is because they are more tolerant of things than some other herbs, including how your children handle them. Growing hardy perennial herbs will get children’s confidence growing that they can grow herbs and then you could branch out into some other types and species of herbs.
Another thing is even within one type of herb there may be multiple varieties. With mint there is even a chocolate mint which the children will probably love to grow.
Perennial and Annual Herbs
Perennial herbs are herbs that are going to keep coming back every year. Annual herbs are ones your children will have to replant every year. However some annual plants will self seed.
The perennial herbs tend to be a little more tolerant and hardy than annual herbs which make them a good choice for children to grow.
Which Herbs are Best for Children to Grow?
The best herbs for children to grow which are perennial herbs are:
- Lemon Balm
Just be careful with thyme, mint and lemon balm as they are prolific and have a tendency to take over.
Some middle ground herbs which are not totally hardy but still good for beginners and for children to grow are:
- Curly Parsley
Lots of herbs are a little bit trickier for children to grow such as Basil. It can be difficult to grow because it likes a specific amount of water and a specific type of soil. The herb basil tastes great though in so many different dishes that I would recommend trying to grow it.
Don’t forget you can grow herbs inside, on a windowsill, in pots, outside or in the ground. Depending on your children’s patience you can either grow herbs from seed or from plants bought at a nursery.
Growing Herbs from Seed
If you’re planting herbs from seed, begin by watering them with a spray bottle. Have your children do this everyday, twice a day. Don’t allow the soil to get too wet or the seeds will rot but also they don’t want to be too dry.
As the herbs grow and mature the roots will grow stronger. Get your children to then water them once a day or whenever the soil does not feel moist. To test whether your herbs need watering get your children to press their finger into the soil about 5 cm. If the soil feels dry give them a little water but not too much.
Please remember not to fret. If it does not work out, children can always start again. Once your children have started they might just want to grow more. If they are interested in growing more herbs then have a look at the Royal Horticultural Society for more information or if your children want to grow flowers and vegetables read this.