Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Starting the Garden!

This past week we started working on our garden. I am so excited about this. Last year was the first year we planted a garden and we had fun with it. For inspiration we used a book called Roots, Shoots, Buckets, and Boots and it is such an inspirational and fun book! It has lots of great ideas about gardens to plant with kids. You can pick from themed gardens, like a pizza garden, or a a moonlight garden, but there are also suggestions for popular plants to grow with children. Plants that are popular with kids for one reason or another like pumpkins, cherry tomatoes, hollyhocks, and morning glories among many others.

I don't actually know much about gardening, but I've been having fun learning. We built two raised beds so we could use the square foot gardening method. Although I ignored this part at first last summer, the method relies on more than just the raised bed to work. Depending on the plant you are supposed to plant either 16, 9, 4, or 1 plant per square feet. For the radishes we just planted for instance we planted 16 seeds in one square foot. This way you don't have to thin the seedlings and don't have too many radishes at once. You can also rotate what you plant in each square foot throughout the season. Radishes by the way are one of the recommended plants to grow with children because they go from seed to radish in a little over a month and they come in pretty colors like pink, red, purple, and white. Right now we have one square foot planted with radishes and one with an edible purple flower/herb called borage.

Since some of the garden got eaten up by rabbits last year we are also trying a green wire fence around the beds in the hope that this will deter some of the critters. Today I sent the girls outside with some ribbon to decorate the fence a little and make it look a little prettier! I was inspired by this post from The Artful Parent. The girls liked it and wound ribbon over and over and pulled it out and wound it again. It looks pretty too!

We are still pouring over the Burpee catalog and trying to decide what to plant, but so far we are planning cherry tomatoes, small red sweet peppers, a small watermelon, some mini pumpkins, and a galvanized tub full of potatoes. We will also put in some morning glories and will plant a packet of pink poppy seeds featuring Princess Belle (can Disney market anything with a princess, or what?). We are also going to plant a bean pole tee pee for the girls to enjoy. I can't wait for the summer! What do you love to plant in your garden?

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