I've always been a big advocate of including your kids whenever it comes to growing fruits and vegetables. And it doesn't have to be complicated as you can simply grow something in a pot on your porch.

I was very gutsy with my twin boys. As young as 3 years old, I let them roam into our garden to show them how seeds are planted and how everything grows. Needless to say, not everything survived from them "handling" what was growing.

Mike Brant - Townsquare Media

Now that they're 6 years old, those efforts paid off. This is the first year they grew their own vegetables from seed, transplanted them when they got big enough, and has success with their very own vegetables. And the best part? They eat everything they grow.


With less than a month to go before summer is over, some might think it's too late to start growing anything in New Jersey. But this couldn't be further from the truth as there are plenty of vegetables you can still grow that like it when the weather cools.

Here's just a few things you can give a try at home with your kids now before it's too late...


Sian Kennedy/Getty Images

Green Beans

Dennis Malloy photo




Dennis Malloy photo


Dennis Malloy photo

What's nice is you don't have to prepare a full garden in the ground, as pots will work just fine in most cases.

A state landscaper's association is supporting the 'Plant Something' initiative in the Garden State. (Jupiterimages, ThinkStock)

And remember, if what's planted doesn't succeed, just try again in the spring.

Speaking of spring, here's something you can prepare now for a great start to next year's growing season.

Mike Brant - Townsquare Media

We planted sunflowers last year with much success. This year, many more grew from those flowers we planted the year before. Sunflowers attract many bees for pollination, which is good news for most any fruit or vegetable.

Now, this time of year may be too late to start them by seed, but if you can get a small sunflower in a pot, try to capture their seeds when they fall out and plant them outside this autumn. Trust me, you and your kids will be rewarded come spring.

Mike Brant - Townsquare Media

Take a look at how beautiful your sunflowers will be by seeing the fields already in bloom around the Garden State (Check out Erin's full list below).

Bottom line. Whatever you decide to do, just don't wait too much longer as New Jersey's growing season will be over before you know it.

Good luck, and happy late season gardening!

Beautiful sunflower fields to visit in NJ 2021

Among reasons why the “Garden State” remains a fitting nickname for New Jersey — late summer means the arrival of sunflower season.

There are at least six fields, spanning the state. Some are in bloom as of early August, while others are planned to peak from late August to late September.

Calling or emailing before heading out is always advisable if weather appears to be an issue.