Gardening · Other good stuff

Prepping “the garden”

It has been sunny, in the low 70s, and the wind is calmer than usual. So we worked and played in the yard, including the garden, all weekend long. When I use the term garden here, I am using it loosely. While I would love to have a giant vegetable garden, my 1 and 3 year old think they are “helping” when they pull my plants out of the ground. I’ve thought about putting in a raised bed or a gate, but I think that would just attract the kids to it more. Plus our neighborhood has a hundred million gazillion rabbits that like to help themselves to anything I try to grow. I have found a compromise over the last couple of years though. I have planted okra in the backyard and herbs in pots. The okra is too prickly for the kids and rabbits to go near, and I can keep the pots out of reach. The kids still get to help with weeding.

 

Last year we had some flooding issues that killed some of the plants, decorative grass and Russian sage, in the front bed areas. I’ve decided I am going to be brave, and plant the herbs in the bald patches of the front bed instead of pots this year. The kids will be less likely to get a hold of it there, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed about the rabbits.

Here’s a picture of my fancy compost area. I joke, but it’s out of sight and completely effective. My husband drilled holes on top, under, and on the sides of some plastic bins. We put our yard clippings, fruit and veggie scraps, coffee grounds, and egg shells in there. Then once a week I water and stir the compost. We do this for a year, and then a few weeks before I think I am going to start planting I mix the compost with the ground and/or potting soil. The compost is really helpful since where we live the soil is practically clay.

Compost

So the herbs seeds are planted in the front, and we have a little corner cleared in the backyard for the okra. I have read that summer squash does well in heavy clay soils. So I am considering being extra brave and trying to plant some here with the okra.

back bed

If you are asking yourself what that weird edging is, it’s an experiment. I cut plastic planters I didn’t need into strips and lined the area with them. I don’t know if it will work, but I’m going to find out.

plastic potters

The kids were so helpful and fun and well behaved through all of this. When we were finished nobody was ready to go inside yet. So we ended by firing up the chiminea and roasting marshmallows. It was a pretty awesome and beautiful weekend.

If anyone has tips about gardening with littles or keeping out rabbits, I’m all ears. I’d also love to hear about what you’re growing this year.

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27 thoughts on “Prepping “the garden”

  1. Looks good. We got our kids little gardening sets so that they could really get involved. The oldest one claimed a plant as “her” plant so she would be eager to water and care for it. We use epsoms salts as well. It makes the plants grow really big, especially vegetables. Happy gardening!

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      1. Mine are 9 and 2. I think the 3 year old will enjoy a small watering can. Mine loves it. It teaches them good values like looking after something other than themselves. Also teaches them a love for the environment so they are more likely to care for the environment as they grow. The 1 year old might just like touching the sand, but let them see what you are doing. It pays off in the long run. 🙂

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  2. Good luck with the rabbits. We’ve had the same problem in years past. I haven’t seen the bunnies hopping around this spring. Funny thing is, I sort of miss them.

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    1. After I posted this I read that someone put plastic forks with the prongs up in their garden to keep out the rabbits. I’ll try to find the link to post because it had lots of good info.

      Oh how funny. I don’t know that I would miss the rabbits if they were gone. I have two little dachshunds who think they are rabbit hunters and are totally not rabbit hunters that would miss them though.

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      1. It’s funny because the rabbits usually show up right at Easter every year. We’ve even named them Easter, Bunny, Peter, and Cottontail. It’s been cold here in the Midwest, so I’m wondering if the weather has kept them in their burrows. The Easter holiday was earlier than usual this year. Maybe I’ll be seeing all the little rabbits soon. I just hope I don’t find them in the garden again. I’ve even tried putting food outside for the bunnies LOL. It didn’t work.

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  3. Hi, just wanted to chime in about the kiddos in the garden. 🙂 I got my daughter involved when she was around 18 months. I let her plant sugar snap peas and bush beans since the seeds are large and you can’t really mess up planting or spacing with them. (I even made a “bean board” for my daughter’s preschool garden that turned planting into a gam for her and classmates–there a picture in my recent post about the school garden if you’re interested.) I second homehugshuskies with the water can. That was and still is a favorite garden activity for my now 3 year old. As far as them pulling out plants, I think that will just take your continued viligance and explanations that those plants are off limits for touching/exploring. I usually redirect my daughter to an area of weeds where she can pick flowers freely or a section of the garden that hasn’t been planted yet where she can dig. I’ve had several playdates at our house where kiddos have pulled up plants or harvested unripe veggies so I feel your pain! Good luck and thanks for sharing.

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  4. Looks like fun. I’ve thought about doing the raised beds but we have so many squirrels in our neighborhood…i just don’t know. Thinking about starting with tomatoes. They are easy! 😉 and YES..we have that same ‘dirt’ here. I call it clay or dust. LOL

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    1. a) Yes please come see the bins.
      b) We’ve decided, weather permitting, that we are making roasting marshmallows on Saturday evenings a thing. You should come then.
      c) We love you 🙂
      d) I *want* to have green thumbs, am working on it.
      e) I will be checking these gardening tools at atwoods out!

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