Planting seeds in the spring is exciting! Kids can create a speciality garden in a raised bed filled with rich organic soil and compost. Kids can choose their favorite recipes, plant the ingredients, and harvest salsa, salad, or pickles. Kids can use organic heirloom seeds for flavor and diversity.
As soon as nights stay above 50 – 55 degrees, kids can plant an Organic Salsa Garden in their raised bed. By checking seed catalogs, the local seed bank, and nurseries, kids can choose their favorite organic seed variety for their climate and plant tomatoes, red bell pepper, chili pepper, basil, and cilantro seeds.
The garden benefits by the interconnectedness of different plants, as some plants grow better when they are planted together. Herbs make great companion plants, improving the growing conditions of the plants, attracting beneficial insects, like honeybees, butterflies, and ladybugs, and repelling pests, like aphids. Diversifying the crops creates a synergy of living things in the garden as the plants interact with soil, sun, air, water, microbial organisms, insects, birds, critters, and humans.
An Organic Salad Garden is another speciality garden kids can create and plant cucumbers, lettuce, radish, dill, zucchini, and green bean seeds. Kids can keep a constant supply of lettuce coming by succession planting. Every few weeks, kids can plant salad green seeds to fill the holes left by harvesting plants.
Rotating crops creates healthy soil and discourages diseases and pests. So in successive years, kids can plant a different speciality garden, like an Organic Pickling Garden in their raised bed with beets, carrots, cucumber, dill, onion, and pepper seeds. Chemical fertilizers injure the microbial life that sustains the healthy growth of the vegetables, lessens the nutrients, and drives up the salt index. Every cubic inch of healthy soil is a miniature world of beneficial living organisms and so kids should not till the soil and injure the microbes in their raised bed garden. Microbes break down the organic material in the soil into useable food and nutrients for the plant. Kids can encourage microbial life, like bacteria, microbes, and fungi, in the soil by continually adding compost and harvest the best tasting veggies and herbs for their salsa, salads, and pickles.