Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kid's Gardening - Garden Logic

I read somewhere that a child of four is usually old enough to plant large seeds in a garden bed.

I can't see any reason to wait two more years.

Little One has planted a crop of snow peas, some morning glories, and last night, green beans. She completely grasps the idea that if you plant a small thing in the soil and water it, it will grow a plant with something tasty to eat on it.

The other night after dinner, the girls finished off the last of the Easter jelly beans for dessert. We sat around munching jelly beans and talking garden plans. Then we went out to do the usual weeding and watering in the evening, and the girls went to work digging in their little garden space.

I walked over to check on them, and there was my sweet two year old, oh so carefully poking holes in the dirt, pressing a jelly bean in, then covering it. When she was finished (she planted three of them) she dutifully watered them and explained, "I'm plant jelly beans in my garden."

(I realize this would've made great pictures. I was too interested in watching her to run for the camera.)


The garden is coming along nicely. It actually looks a bit more like a garden this month instead of The Ugly Plot of Dirt Along the Back Fence, the way it looked all winter. There are still lots of empty spaces as we wait a few weeks to plant tomatoes, peppers, and other warm weather crops. We're harvesting spinach and salad greens daily, and I used the thinnings from some of the Black Seeded Simpson lettuce to make up a salad with our dinner tonight. In fact, we've been eating salad for lunch and dinner for the past three days. I finally made a honey mustard dressing for the girls just to give them something a bit different.

Radishes are scheduled loosely to be picked tomorrow. We may pick a few, but most are still pretty small and need more time. The turnips that I planted all sprouted, the onions are coming up beautifully, and the carrots are getting their true leaves.

Here are a few photos... I realize they're not beautiful. More than anything, they're for me to compare in a few weeks, when it seems like nothing has grown, because watching plants grow is a slow process requiring patience, a character trait I've never really possessed.

The carrot bed. Those big plants are radishes.
If you look really close, you can see the carrots in there too.

Broccoli appears to actually be trying to grow.
(which is more than I could say for it last year.)
Garlic in the background.

One of the lettuce beds - marveille des quatre saisons,
black seeded simpson, and a red romaine - flame? Can't remember.

Kohlrabi - the larger ones are the first planting, the smaller ones are a few weeks younger.

The spinach, which blogger was kind enough
to automatically flip upside down for me. (?)

The mixed greens, quite obviously
overplanted, which is why we're eating
thinnings each day.


Dani said...

If you end up getting any broccoli, check it for worms before you cook it! My parents used to grow broccoli and we had to soak it in vinegar and water and then rinse it because there were these tiny little worms that became floaters in the steam water if we didn't! lol

barefoot gardener said...

Planting jelly beans! How cute! I remember Big Sprout doing similar at the same age when she ran out of seeds but still wanted to plant. That time she convinced Great-Grandma to share from her button jar, though. Little Sprout (3 yrs) has helped me plant potatoes and peas so far this year, and helps with my seed starting by watering the plants. It's amazing what our littles can do!

inadvertent farmer said...

Let me know if it works...I want to plant chocolate, lol! What a cute thing.

Your garden looks wonderful, even upside down! Kim

Deb said...

Okay, so how do you keep bunnies out of your garden? I'm getting ready to transplant into my garden, and I'm so afraid that the bunnies will gobble it all up! I never can grow any kind of pepper without them eating them to the nubs....


Julie said...

Dani - thanks, I'll be sure and check. I've tried growing broccoli for three years now, and have never been successful.
Barefoot - cute story! Love the idea of planting buttons...
Kim - heh! If my toddler starts successfully cultivating candy plants, you'll be the first to know :o)
Deb - we don't have bunnies. We don't have any furry critters to contend with, really. Just a few types of bugs, and some plant diseases. I'll look in my organic gardening book tomorrow and email you what it says about bunnies. I think a deeply dug, tightly woven fence is the best deterrent for bunnies though, from what I've read. Good luck! Are you planting this year?