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We’ve had lots of fun with our vegetable garden over the last few years. It’s been fun experimenting with different things. Last year, I kind of went overboard and we ended up with an over-crowded garden. Many of our vegetables went to waste because we either couldn’t see them, couldn’t reach them or for some other reason we just didn’t really eat them. (Call me a princess, but I just didn’t dig lettuce that had holes all through it.) The good news is that now we have a pretty good idea of what will work in our space, and what the kids will actually eat.
Last weekend we got the garden ready and planted. Here it is, all ready for planting:
And here it is after being planted:
We planted the following (starting at the top): zucchini, two kinds of beets, bush beans, 4 kinds of heirloom tomatoes, black popcorn and cucumber along the fence. I’m also going to plant some burgundy beans beside the corn in the hopes that it will grow up the corn stalks.
The tomatoes are the only ones we didn’t start from seed:
As the garden starts growing, I’ll post more pictures.
Today Moonie and I went out to get a few planting supplies. There are a few more things I want to plant.
Here is our current indoor garden. Many of these are sprouting:
This is our outdoor garden, freshly turned and ready for planting:
Today I got this:
Yes, that tray holds 72 (and I resisted the urge to buy two). Because these are all the seeds I still want to plant:
Too much? I can feel Mr. FamilyNature rolling his eyes. Not because he isn’t excited about the garden, but because I know he’s wondering where the frack we’ll put everything.
Don’t worry honey, we’ll find a way to squeeze it all in.
It looks like spring is finally here. It’s warming up, the ground is drying up and my front garden is full of lovely, yellow (and a few purple) crocuses. My 9 year old says they smell like honey.
Last year we had our first real vegetable garden. It was small and we made a couple of mistakes but as soon as the garden started flourishing we knew we’d do it again next year. As we tended to the garden, and as we ate fresh veggies from our garden almost every day, we talked about next year’s garden; what we’d plant and what we’d do differently.
We planted our plants way too close together last year. Not only did things get overcrowded but it also meant that lots of vegetables went to waste because we just couldn’t see them until they had fallen down and were rotting on the ground. We also have just come to the sad realization that butternut squash and pumpkin just don’t do well in our garden. I think we will try to plant a few again this year but we won’t get our hopes up.
I’ve been assembling supplies for this year’s vegetable garden since last year. Toward the end of the summer, I got a great deal on an Organic Seed Grab Bag from Cubit’s Organics on Etsy (I like Cubit’s – a fellow GTAer – check out their Facebook page and their blog). I also got a couple of neat striped garden bag pots from IKEA for next to nothing at the end of the season. Along with my grab bag from Cubit’s we also had some seeds left over from last year’s planting plus, we dried a few green beans and have some of our own seeds to plant this year.
My grade 4 son made newspaper pots at school and with this handy you tube video. We were able to make some at home too. They kind of fell apart when we added soil and water (less water next time) but it was a fun experiment.
We have a little greenhouse from last year so I just had to buy a small box of peat pods. We have various other random gardening supplies that we have collected. Last year we mostly used seedlings in the garden, this year we’re starting from scratch.
Last weekend, I assembled everything together on the dining room table and we planted a bunch of seeds for what will eventually be our garden. I had visions of it being a lovely family afternoon. It was fine and the kids had fun but the truth is, I was ready to pull my hair out by the end of it. Dirt everywhere and kids fighting over who got to plant/water/whatever. At the end our little project I was on my own (which was okay).
We planted lettuce, sage, two kinds of basil, green peppers, habanero peppers, eggplant, yellow pear tomatoes and some forget-me-nots. So far, only the lettuce have sprouted. You can follow my garden here.
Mr. FamilyNature prepared our garden outside today. We’re making our garden twice as big as last year so he dug up some grass, turned the soil and added compost (which we got free from the city at one of the Community Environment Days). It’s ready to go. Eventually, we’ll plant beans, carrots, rainbow chard, red chilli peppers, beets, different kids of tomatoes and much more.
Stay tuned for pictures and updates of this year’s garden!
Every New Year since I’ve had kids I’ve resolved to lose a few pounds. Don’t we all? That, and eat better, get more exercise, be a better mum, blah, blah, blah. I simply make the declaration “My New Year’s resolutions are _____!” and then I go about my year, not really doing anything to make those resolutions happen.
A quick Google search reveals what we all know: the vast majority of people making New Year’s resolutions fail; somewhere between 80 and 90 percent. So this year, my New Year’s resolution is no more resolutions.
Hmm, but wait a sec …
That doesn’t feel quite right either. I mean, isn’t it a good idea to at least think about these things? Does setting goals have any value at all even if we never really make any strides to achieve them? These are the things I’ve been thinking about the last few days. To resolve or not to resolve; that is the question.
I guess that I’ve decided that there is value in making resolutions. Because it means thinking about ourselves and the things we want to do/change/accomplish. I don’t think it’s necessarily reasonable to have hard-and-fast resolutions that we feel we must accomplish in one year. But I do think it’s a good idea to have a general idea of what we want to do – or at least, a direction in which we want to go. I’m going to call them: More or Less Resolutions. Here are some basic things I’m going to work in the next little while:
- More cooking
- More reading
- MORE BLOGGING!
- More playing
- More gardening
- More exercise
- More pictures
- Less yelling
- Less agonizing/stressing
- Less procrastinating
Do you have any More or Less Resolutions?
The one and only instruction you need for gardening with kids (or gardening at all, really) is this:
- Get started.
Think I’m being a smarty-pants? I’m not, honestly. The truth is I know almost nothing about gardening (but learning more every day). No matter how much or how little you know about gardening, just get started and figure it out along the way. That’s what we’re doing.
Sure, it’s nice to have fancy-schmancy gardening books, shiny new tools and trays full of plants at your disposal, but you don’t need any of that to get started.
We moved into this house nearly two years ago (it will be two years in October). When we bought, the house and gardens were impressively maintained by lovely Mrs. H, who owned the house for 50 years. There were beautiful perennial flowers, shrubs and roses – all perfect; not a weed in sight.
Our lot is 40 feet wide. I’d guess our backyard is about 40 x 40. There are three large gardens in the back – one of which is the width of the yard; another one is the width of the house – as well as one in the front. I have never been into gardening so when we moved in I declared that the gardens were Mr. Family Nature’s responsibility and ignored them at first.
Then the spring came, and lots of nice little flowers started popping up and I became moderately interested. There were so many things coming up in the garden that I didn’t know what was what, so we left it all to see what it was. Before long we had a garden full of invasive weeds. We’d pick at it here and there but I always felt like we weren’t very good gardeners. I thought poor old Mrs. H would die on the spot if she ever saw what became of her gardens.
This year we’ve been a bit better. I have to admit, Mr. Family Nature still does most of the dirty work when it comes to gardening but I help out and I give lots of instructions. We certainly wouldn’t win any awards, but I’m pretty happy with how our gardens look. We still have lots of lovely things but we also have some wild flowers and still (probably always) some weeds. I see it as more of a family-friendly-it’s-okay-if-the-soccer-ball-breaks-some-of-the-plants kind of garden.
Also new this year, we’ve put in a small vegetable garden. This is where the kids get super excited. We’re growing beans, peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, some kind of squash and pumpkin. The kids LOVE it. I mean, they run out every day to see if there is anything big enough to pick. Or, they’ll be playing in the backyard munching on beans. Our oldest, Yo-yo, teaches and shows the younger ones which tomatoes are ripe and ready to pick. I never thought I’d say this about gardening but I love it!
All of this has lead to something: the kids’ natural curiosity and endless questions have made us *gasp* gardeners! Kind of frugal-fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants-accidental-gardeners; making lots of mistakes along the way; teaching ourselves and the kids as we go. And you know what? We’re having a blast. Stay tuned for pictures and updates.
What does your garden look like?