Ready to start gardening? The very first thing you should plant is a row of snap peas (a.k.a. “edible pod peas”), and that goes double if you’re gardening with small children.
- You already like them. Snap peas are the kind that come in those mixed vegetable platters from the store — the sweet crunchy ones where you can eat the whole pod.
- Pea seeds are huge, so they’re easy for kids to grasp and plant.
- They grow fast — less than 8 weeks from seed to harvest.
- While they’re growing, you can nibble on extra sprouts, tender young tendrils, and baby pods — just leave some to fill out for later!
- They grow vertically, so they don’t take up much garden space. Just plant them at the north end of your garden (so they don’t shade anything else) and give them a trellis to climb.
- Peas like cool weather, so you can plant them early in spring (and again in fall). By the time you harvest them, it will be warm enough to plant tomatoes or something in their place.
And if your kids aren’t really into gardening (or if they’re mostly just rubbing dirt into their hair and watering their younger siblings), here’s a printable coloring page to keep them happy.