May 28 2010

Springtime is Garden Time!

Starting a vegetable garden is not as daunting as it may seem and it’s a great activity to do with the kids.

What’s more fun than playing in the dirt with shovels and water?

Here are a few simple steps to get you started.

First, pick your location. Vegetables need at least 6 hours of sunlight.

Second, determine how much space you have.

Third, choose what you want to grow; the kids can help with this part. Ask them what vegetables they like to eat, and throw in a few of  your own picks as well, of course!

Finally, Plot out your area; choose your soil and plant! is a great resource for all things garden. It also has a garden planner where you can plug in what you want to grow and the amount of space you have and it will help plot out your garden and give you information about each plant.

We chose raised beds because they drain well, they are easy to fill and weed, and it’s easy to keep track of crop rotation.

This year we chose to grow tomatoes (Roma and Cherry), bell peppers, carrots, kale, spinach, mixed greens, garlic, shallots, broccoli, and rhubarb (which can’t be harvested until next spring). We also have a handful of herbs in the garden and in larger separate pots. The Romas will be great for making lots of marinara that we can freeze for the winter.

I have to warn you, there are some hazards when gardening with the kids. They think it’s really funny to pull plants and pour tons of water on the garden (which will rot the plants). The pulling issue is a constant work in progress, but it’s getting better. A good solution for the watering is to give them their own small spray cans so they can spray all day long and still not overly water the plants.

Gardening is a great way to stay in shape and spend some great outdoor time with the kids!

Check out my ‘Home Gardens’ page for more information on Gardening with Kids. Throughout the season I will be adding more demonstrations about testing the soil, pruning, and harvesting.

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