Spring Gardening — Gardening with Children

You know, for being a farmers daughter I really am not that good at growing plants. I’ve even manages to stunt the growth or kill the ones that supposedly live with “3 ice cubes a week”! Give me cows all day long but tomatoes and lettuce, sheesh!!! To give you a little sense of my mad growing skills, last year I grew 7 containers of food. One, my peas, grew over a foot and then roasted in the sun the next week. At least the kids thought it was fun to watch them change color as they died. Yikes. My tomatoes grew three inches and then quit growing… For 3 MONTHS they didn’t die because the humidity kept them alive but they didn’t grow either. Each plant had just a few leaves and never grew. At least the kids thought they were cute. The basil and cilantro both got roasted. 2 of the others never even broke ground. At least the kids had fun playing in the dirt after I gave up on them. Ha! But on the plus sides of things, the starts I grew from seeds and gave to our neighbors grew phenomenally!! I joke that the good deed made their garden grow.. Really I just forced myself to smile every time I walked past their blooming tomato plant and full bushel of basil and be grateful that at least if I wasn’t able to use my own produce for dinner at my house my neighbors would invite us over for dinner so we could taste theirs… #gardengoals …

Anyways… This year I am trying (AGAIN) to plant a garden. Year 4. Each year I have made planting the garden a family event. My kids and I have loved it! My husband, well, he likes it once it is over! Haha– toddlers digging up what we just planted and seeds flying in every direction; not really sure whats actually in what pot anymore… Not exactly Jared’s dream version of gardening! Honestly, today’s adventures were no different! At least he is getting more used to how toddlers process and work through things. 🙂 Man! 2 hours of gardening and you should have seen the mess! From too much soil being dumped into as many containers as possible from someone showing of their big muscles to a whole packet of seeds being dumped in to a single finger hole because one was not enough; gallons of water being dumped too quickly on our newly planted seeds and accidentally dropping a pot off the second story balcony, it was a day for the books!

Because of my last 4 years of garden fail, the kids and I picked out a few hot weather lovers to our garden and gave up on some of the more traditional items. We also planted our garden in March and not when I was 39 weeks pregnant and during the last week in May. What’s new? Flowers and succulents! We had such a fun time carefully picking out which ones to get, especially the cactus plants. I will admit though that I am more nervous about our new aloe and spring cactus plants surviving the kids than the Oklahoma heat! We will have to wait and see how durable they really are. Another new comer: raspberries. The raspberry starts are in their pot and the strawberries are nice and warm inches below the surfaces. Our herb seeds are all planted in their seed-start tray along with the green beans, peas, peppers, and tomatoes. If the back of the seed packet didn’t say ‘full sun’, the poor vegetables or fruit didn’t make the cut; same goes for the herbs. The only one I did that required partial sun is the spearmint. It’s my favorite along with lavender. Both made the garden cut each for a specific reason: raspberry mint lemonade and lavender hot chocolate (thank you for the new favorite Katiebugs)! Also I learned that lavender, marigolds, and basil all smell too strong for ants so I have added a bunch of those to the list this year also!

Here is to keeping my fingers crossed that we will harvest something other than 3 inch tomato plants at the end of the season!

The Journal


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