I started my Square Foot Garden last year; two 3 x 3 boxes giving me 9 squares to plant in. I used Mel Bartholomew’s All New Square Foot Gardening for tips and instructions. Based on our results, I think the following vegetables, and recipes, will be a hit with your children, grandchildren, or students!
5 Perfect Vegetables for the Cool Weather of Spring
Cabbage comes in a wide variety. Purchase plants at a local greenhouse, and plant as soon as the soil is workable: one plant per square foot. Cabbage spreads out so it may actually fill more than one square. Plant again in late August for an autumn harvest. Cabbage is hardy to 20 degrees, so it’ll survive the first frost! Do not overwater.
Try this recipe from Super Healthy Kids – Aye Carumba Cabbage
Peas climb, so they need support. In a Square Foot Garden, plant on the outside edge (or at the back side), inserting a trellis or garden twine stretched across tomato sticks for support. You should be able to start 8 plants per square foot. If you plant in cycles and in partial shade during the heat of summer, you’ll have fresh peas all summer long. Feel free to use the pea shoots, tendrils and flowers in salads, too.
This recipe from Super Healthy Kids, Christmas Pepper Pea Potatoes calls for frozen peas. You can make it with fresh and enjoy three healthy vegetables.
Spinach can even be grown throughout the winter in cold frames in your yard. Harvest leaves from the outside in. Plant 9 plants per square foot. Many kids hate spinach, but growing it themselves and mixing it with favorites may provide the excitement and incentive to give it a try. It’s also a great addition to a mango pineapple shake!
Try Spinach for the Spinach Hater from Recipe 4 Living to get your kids eating the stuff like Popeye!
Radishes were the first thing I planted as a child. Start from seed in your square foot garden, planting 16 radishes per square foot! Do not transplant as they do not do well if they’ve been uprooted. Keep them well watered and in partial shade (for at least 3 – 4 hours a day) for a full summer of harvesting. Radishes grow quickly so plan on planting them in cycles for radishes throughout the summer.
Kids may be hesitant to try a vegetable with a bit of a bite. But try this great pink dip from Biting the Hand that Feeds You, and you may have a hit on your hands.
Kids love baby carrots with hummus dip or peanut butter. Why not let them plant their own? They’ll be looking forward to pulling that first one from the ground, but be encourage patience until they’ve reached at least 2′ – 3″! Plan on 16 carrots per square foot. As with radishes, carrots do not do well when transplanted. Also, the soft leaves of the carrot are very attractive to rabbits and other furry visitors to your garden. Consider surrounding your square foot structures with chicken wire, and a moving sun catcher or have fun building a scarecrow to keep out birds, deer and others critters.
Try this fun “Sushi” Sandwich recipe from Super Healthy Kids, with your fresh-from-the-garden carrots and some sprouts.
When kids have a hand in growing the vegetables, they get excited. It also increases their willingness to try vegetables they may not have been interested in before. Who knows, you may find yourself planning for an even wider variety of vegetables next year!
My Square Foot Garden
Super Healthy Kids
Another Gardening Article by Madeline Anderson-Balmer
10 Apps to Give You a Garden Worth Tweeting About