When it comes to gardening I have the proverbial “black thumb of death”, a gardening mass murderer if you will. I think that plants come to my house specifically to live out their last days! That being said, I knew that I bit off more than I could chew when I decided to start a full fledged garden with my daughter. But this is a success story, and if I can do it, you surely can!
I thought that this project of growing our own fruits and veggies would be a great way to get my little one more interested in eating all the good things. I thought it would be a great experience for her to care for something, and see how something she planted could grow into something she would eventually eat. So I chose to make this an all edible garden.
3 Things You Need to Start Gardening with kids
We planted things with only 3 requirements: it needs to be hard to kill, edible, and grows fast. Included in our garden are sunflowers, strawberries, tomatoes, lettuces, peppers, and a host of herbs. Most of which I was able to pick up at our local farmers market. Another great resource for organic seeds is Seeds of Change. I involved Z in picking out the plants, she helped to plant them, and it is one of her responsibilities to water the plants.
I used my Pinterest board for some design inspiration, and came up with these wonderful wine cork garden markers found here. It was simple and just required skewers + wine corks + and a sharpie. I suggest an adult writing on the corks and putting the skewers in the cork. The kids can have the honor of placing the markers in the garden.
For some of the plants that we raised from seeds, we transplanted them into the peel of an orange (I know brilliant idea huh?), another wonderful idea I found on Pinterest here.
We just juiced the orange and used the peel for a new home for the seedling. Poked a whole in the bottom of the peel, and voila, a perfect home for the seedling that can then just be put into the ground (I would suggest planting seeds in a green house type container and then transfer the sprout to the orange peel since the peel will break down far before you are able to get a sprout if you do it from a seed).
The seedling gets the nutrients from the peel, and then disintegrates into the ground. A circle of life moment, and such a great way to recycle, and teach that when we use the earths resources, it usually can have more than one purpose.
So it has been about two months since we have started our garden and guess what? We have only had 1 casualty (and I don’t even think it was my fault to tell you the truth, it was the basil and I think the weather dipped too low a couple of days and that did it in). This project has been a total score! Z tells me how much she loves gardening, and she is excited to eat the fruits of our labor. I can’t wait to add to our garden, cucumbers from a recent seedling swap, beans, and blackberries are on our list to plant in the coming weeks. Yea I’m getting braver, I likened gardening to children. I try to be attentive to their needs, give them water and sun, and apparently that’s all they need!