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Instead of the Dishes » Garden, Go Green, Mommyhood » How Does Your Garden Grow?

How Does Your Garden Grow?

As part of my quest to feed my family more local foods, I have been wishing for a garden. Not a big garden, because I have no idea what I am doing. Just a little garden that we can try out; a place to grow a few vegetables and maybe some flowers; a fun spot for the kids to use their little garden trowels and get dirty. I love to pick things, and I think the kids will get a big kick out of eating things they have grown themselves.

I have an awesomely handy husband who I am thankful for. He spent the bulk of this past weekend obliging my wishes by building a raised garden bed in the back yard.

The kids helped him too. When I explained to Carina that Daddy was building a garden bed for growing vegetables, she asked, “Are we going to lay down on the vegetables?” I know better than to try to share Craig’s workspace (two type-A personalities don’t mix well on home improvement projects), but I did help add in the dirt. The finished product is fantastic!

Admittedly, I am a little intimidated by this whole gardening thing. However, the more research I do, the more I find that gardening is not only a great project for kids, it’s a great project for type-A personalities. I stayed up way too late last night figuring out when our various seeds need to be planted and sketching out our garden “floor plan”.

Today Carina and I planted the carrots and radishes in neat little rows (we’re already behind schedule for those!), and then we made a garden calendar so we would know when to plant our other seeds and when to expect the seedlings to start appearing. The calendar became a necessity when Carina started asking me every 10 minutes if she could go see if the “carrots and those other things we planted, what are they called? oh, radishes, are ready yet.”  Tomorrow we are going to start our tomato and pepper seeds in fiber cups. Carina has her planting outfit all picked out.

Hopefully SOMETHING will grow, and the deer, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, and birds will save some for us. If anyone loves to hand out free gardening advice, I am happy to take it. How DOES your garden grow?

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9 Responses to "How Does Your Garden Grow?"

  1. Email me your list of what you are growing and I will help you out. Are you putting in onions? If so, put them next to the row of carrots, rabbits don’t like onions and will stay away from your carrots.

    The raised bed looks fantastic, I am so proud of you guys!!!!
    Eat local!
    The Park Wife

  2. Julie says:

    I highly recommend a book called Square Foot Gardening. I think it is out of print but I got one from the library when I had a garden about that size. It explains a different approach to planting that yields more veggies in a smaller space (basically thinking about your garden in squares instead of rows). It also gives great advice about things to plant together and how to replant the squares to have multiple harvests, natural pest control, and how to rotate “crops” so as to maximize the soil. It’s amazing & pretty easy to understand.

    Add marigolds around the garden – they are good pest control. And nasturtiums are awesome because they are pretty flowers that you can eat.

    Andy was little when I had my garden. We grew 2-3 sunflowers just for the excitement of the huge plant and the big flowers.

    (last bit of advice): potatoes (white or sweet) can be grown in a container if you follow the square foot gardening approach, and the container is deep enough. The loose soil in a container lets them grow well, and harvesting is super easy, cuz you can dig them with kid trowels or even your hands.

  3. kim says:

    Oh, I LOVE your bed! We have tried a garden yearly, but ever since BSD’s surf shop went in, the bed got moved to a spot with NO sun! Not good for growing veggies. 🙁 We also have a TERRIBLE problem of the squirrels stealing the finished product the day before we’re ready to pick them!

    I told BSD I want to plant the garden in the front yard this year where there is sun. It would be out in the open among flowers. We’ll see if this works. Hopefully, this busier area will keep the squirrels at bay.

    Can’t wait to hear how your garden is growing!

  4. quickgardens says:

    Well done. Be patient. It’s worth the wait and the taste. When I first started my daughter kept telling to stop pacing and talking to the plants as though the garden was just going to spring up overnight. lol

  5. Fawn says:

    Thanks for all the great tips, Julie! I’ll see if I can track down that book. I’m already planning to plant our bed in squares, so maybe I’m on the right track!

  6. Fawn says:

    We are not big onion fans, so no onions in our little bed. But, here’s the plan, in order of left to right down the bed: carrots & radishes, zucchini, cucumbers, bush beans, tomatoes & bell peppers, sunflowers. I was also hoping to sneak some Kale in there, but I think I am too late. Also have a stevia plant to find a cranny for. Let me know what you think!

  7. […] we learned a lot and had fun. (“We” being the kids and I.)  When I blogged about our garden last year, my friend Julie left a comment recommending the book Square Foot Gardening.  Then, my friend Kim […]

  8. […] expending our energy, time, and effort in order to create. One of those things that many of us love sharing with our children is our love of gardening. Whether you are creating a spectacular garden worthy of acclaim, fame, and blue ribbons everywhere […]

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