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.
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.
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.
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.