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Secrets to Creating a Child-Friendly Garden

By Gardenista
July 15, 2013; 9:29 AM ET

Some people make it look so easy. On late summer afternoons, blogger Christine Chitnis heads to her community garden plot to tend her vegetables-toddler in tow. "This part of my day is so idyllic," she says. "Vik is such an easygoing soul, he is happy to eat some dirt and hang out while I fuss with my plot." Here are five of her secrets to creating a kid-friendly garden:

Photograph by Christine Chitnis.

Tip No. 1: Let go of your expectations. Kids want to "help," and that means there will be plants that get uprooted, herbs that get over-watered, produce that is picked before its time, and pots that get knocked over, says Chitnis. All of which is a good thing.

"By letting kids help, and giving them the space to get messy and make mistakes, you will nurture their love of gardening," she says.

Tip No. 2: Plant vegetables and fruit that your kids like-and some they don't.

"Planting produce that your kids love is a no-brainer, but try planting a few things they claimed not to like," Chitnis says. "Once they help it grow, and pick it straight from the vine, they may change their minds."

Tip No: 3: Set yourself up for success by laying the groundwork, so to speak, for success. Growing vegetables in raised beds "is the best idea, in my humble opinion-the soil is so rich and the weeds so few," she says.

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