Radish Gardening with Kids

When you're gardening with kids, you don't always need to take their word for it when they tell you what to plant for them.

I picked today’s piece, “Radishes,” for everyone who has ever had a little garden helper or has tried gardening with kids. For me, it’s my daughter, who has been my cherry tomato picker since she was able to walk. She could slice soft veggies with a butter knife at the age of two! Whenever I’m putting in my orders from the seed catalogs in January, I keep her in mind, just like today’s author, Dave Reinitz.

In this piece, his niece says that what she wants him to plant this year is radishes. He tells her that nobody likes radishes, but she insists that she does, and he ends up with a huge bounty of radishes … and you’ll see what happens next in the story below.

I like the idea of planting radishes every year. Even though I don’t love to eat them either, they sure do well for my gardening self-esteem with how easy they grow. Carrots too, but those take forever. With radishes, you just plant some seeds, and they pop up in a few weeks, ready to mingle with your salad. And they’re not totally terrible when sliced thin with a mandolin and sprinkled over your salad. But still, the ending of today’s story will give you a chuckle about the author’s radish harvest.

Do You Enjoy Gardening with Kids?

This story comes from our archive that spans over 30 years and includes more than 130 magazine issues of GreenPrints. Pieces like these about gardening with kids that inject humor into everyday life lessons always brighten up my day, and I hope it does for you as well. Enjoy!

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Radishes

By Dave Reinitz of Burbank, CA.

Often in the Spring she comes. It started when she was 2 or 3 and she spent much of her time dropping worms in the pond for the turtles and trying to ride Bozley the Beagle, singing his sweet song, “Bozley the beagle, he flies like an eagle and he does things, things that are illegal, he is Bozley the beagle.”

Suddenly she is 6, my little red-headed niece Natasha Boo, and she has a garden at home. I called and asked, “What shall we plant this year?”

“Radishes!” she demanded with glee.

“Radishes??” I said, “Radishes??”

“Oh, yes,” she said. “Definitely radishes.”

“You are 6. You don’t like radishes.”

“I am 7. And I like radishes,” she demanded.

So I dutifully planted radishes. Turns out radishes grow fast and I planted more than I thought. A month later she called and asked what she should plant in her garden. I said, “Zucchini! They grow quickly, have great big leaves, and you get lots of zucchini. You can bring them to your friends. Zucchinis make people happy!”

She said, “But I don’t like zucchini.”

I replied, “I don’t like radishes and that didn’t stop me. If radishes were money, I would be a rich man.” She laughed the purest and deepest of laughs. “You really grew radishes? No one likes radishes.”

Now, every year I grow radishes and I hear her song and I feel her laugh, my little red-headed niece Natasha Boo.

By Dave Reinitz of Burbank, CA. Published originally in 2022, in GreenPrints Issue #130. Illustrated by Kayla Aguiar

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Did this remind you of a similar story gardening with kids that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear it. 


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