Family Nature

Garden 2011

It looks like spring is finally here. It’s warming up, the ground is drying up and my front garden is full of lovely, yellow (and a few purple) crocuses. My 9 year old says they smell like honey.

Last year we had our first real vegetable garden. It was small and we made a couple of mistakes but as soon as the garden started flourishing we knew we’d do it again next year. As we tended to the garden, and as we ate fresh veggies from our garden almost every day, we talked about next year’s garden; what we’d plant and what we’d do differently.

We planted our plants way too close together last year. Not only did things get overcrowded but it also meant that lots of vegetables went to waste because we just couldn’t see them until they had fallen down and were rotting on the ground. We also have just come to the sad realization that butternut squash and pumpkin just don’t do well in our garden. I think we will try to plant a few again this year but we won’t get our hopes up.

I’ve been assembling supplies for this year’s vegetable garden since last year. Toward the end of the summer, I got a great deal on an Organic Seed Grab Bag from Cubit’s Organics on Etsy (I like Cubit’s – a fellow GTAer – check out their Facebook page and their blog). I also got a couple of neat striped garden bag pots from IKEA for next to nothing at the end of the season. Along with my grab bag from Cubit’s we also had some seeds left over from last year’s planting plus, we dried a few green beans and have some of our own seeds to plant this year.

My grade 4 son made newspaper pots at school and with this handy you tube video. We were able to make some at home too. They kind of fell apart when we added soil and water (less water next time) but it was a fun experiment.

We have a little greenhouse from last year so I just had to buy a small box of peat pods. We have various other random gardening supplies that we have collected. Last year we mostly used seedlings in the garden, this year we’re starting from scratch.

Last weekend, I assembled everything together on the dining room table and we planted a bunch of seeds for what will eventually be our garden. I had visions of it being a lovely family afternoon. It was fine and the kids had fun but the truth is, I was ready to pull my hair out by the end of it. Dirt everywhere and kids fighting over who got to plant/water/whatever. At the end our little project I was on my own (which was okay).

We planted lettuce, sage, two kinds of basil, green peppers, habanero peppers, eggplant, yellow pear tomatoes and some forget-me-nots. So far, only the lettuce have sprouted. You can follow my garden here.

Mr. FamilyNature prepared our garden outside today. We’re making our garden twice as big as last year so he dug up some grass, turned the soil and added compost (which we got free from the city at one of the Community Environment Days). It’s ready to go. Eventually, we’ll plant beans, carrots, rainbow chard, red chilli peppers, beets, different kids of tomatoes and much more.

Stay tuned for pictures and updates of this year’s garden!


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