Growing a themed garden for kids

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One of my favorite things about this time of year is planting my garden. I love to plant tiny seedlings and watch them bloom and grow. I love watering, weeding and picking a summer harvest of fruits and veggies for my family to enjoy.

My children like to tend the garden with me. They enjoy choosing plants each year and they love to help pick our fruits and veggies as they ripen.

Gardening is a wonderful opportunity for children to learn where food comes from and how plants grow. Children will also learn responsibility and gain problem solving skills as they help to care for a garden.

To engage kids in gardening, growing a themed fruit and vegetable garden can be lots of fun. No yard space for a garden? Many plants can be grown successfully in containers on the patio. Here are ideas for three fun themes to try with your kids.

Taco garden. For a taco garden, choose veggies such as lettuce, tomatoes and peppers and herbs like cilantro. Try making homemade salsa with your garden-fresh ingredients. Enjoy taco night with salsa and toppings right out of the garden.

Pizza garden. For a pizza garden, choose veggies such as tomatoes (Roma is good for sauce), peppers and onions and herbs like oregano and basil. Be creative with your choices – you may enjoy zucchini or spinach on your pizza! Try making homemade pizza sauce with the kids. Grab some pizza dough and your favorite cheeses and enjoy a homemade pizza with sauce and fresh toppings from your garden.

Rainbow garden. For a rainbow garden, choose plants from each color of the rainbow. Here are some ideas to get you started. Red: strawberries, tomatoes, red bell pepper, watermelon, red lettuce. Orange: carrots, pumpkins, orange peppers, butternut squash, cantaloupe. Yellow: summer squash, corn, yellow bell peppers, yellow tomatoes. Green: green bell peppers, cucumber, lettuce, spinach, zucchini, broccoli. Blue: blueberries. Purple: eggplant, purple peppers, red onions, blackberries. Enjoy your edible rainbow!

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