Starting off with crops that give quick results is a great way to keep young gardeners enthusiastic when getting them started. Try the following 'quick win' options - crops that you will see results from in only a couple of weeks. They can all be planted in containers so you can move them around to get some sunshine/protect them from the elements if you live in a cooler spot.
Crunchy colourful and ready to harvest a month or so after sowing - this easy peasy crop flourishes with only the simplest of care (cover seed and water and walk away):
- Sow seeds in rows, or try making a pattern for something more interesting, perhaps a koru or a smiley face.
- The leaves can be eaten too and used in salads and sandwiches.
- Look for the “Easter Egg” blend, of red, white, pink, and purple radishes, or “Ping Pong” which is a new pure white one.
A vegetable that can be eaten straight from the plant, snow peas flourish in the cooler months.
- For quick results plant seedlings, rather than seeds.
- Plant loads, as they are so yummy a few plants is never enough.
- Provide some sort of staking or support for the plants to grow up, like a tepee made from bamboo stakes. This keeps the pods clean and away from any hungry slugs and snails.
A sprinter of a crop, and perfect for a child's garden.
- A no-fuss crop you can simply sow the seeds in garden beds, pots or containers and water them every few days.
- Seeds will germinate within 2 weeks.
- They are ready to harvest in 8-12 weeks.
- Culturally they offer other learning options, with seed blends coming in Oriental and Italian blends, for example.
Calendulas and violas thrive in cool temperatures and quickly reward with a plethora of edible flowers.
- These cheerful and colourful blooms also encourage bees into the garden.
- Use in salads, to decorate plates or to decorate cupcakes.
Herbs add a fragrant and sensory element to the garden.
- They can be planted in garden beds or in pots and containers.
- Mint, parsley, and rosemary can all be planted now and are very hardy crops.
- Use the mint to make mint tea.
- Coriander, chives, dill, thyme can also be planted now.
- For more information check out the Tui Herb Guide.
Pictured: Ohope Beach School's Snow Pea Tepee