A few months ago, Piano Man’s school received an open spot at the local community garden across the school grounds.
His teacher became the community garden expert/coordinator, and his class was fortunate enough to learn about gardening.
Now I am not gardener. In fact, you could say that I have a brown wrinkly thumb. I have killed a cactus before when a college friend asked me to watch it for her while we she was away in Korea for the summer. She said it was supposed to be the easiest gardening job ever. But nope. I made the poor thing turn brown.
Piano Man has been begging for a garden for over a year. I would subtly refuse to make one due ti our busy schedules, but this summer was different. I could not make any more excuses. His teachers gave his class several learning tips over the spring, and he was determined to make a summer garden grow some vegetables.
Supplies to Make a Raised Garden Bed:
Starting with nothing, we had to make a few purchases to get this garden party started:
- raised garden bed
- vegetable seeds
- watering products (while on vacation)
- large popsicle sticks
- small peat pots
We purchased a raised garden bed for our deck from Home Depot. It was necessary to keep small animals from munching away at Piano Man’s garden. At Lowes, we purchased two bags of special garden growing soil. And then Piano Man and I were lucky to have found a few free seed packets from our local library. Piano man also received pole beans from his teachers at the end of the school year, which made him more determined than ever to start his garden.
How to Start a Small Garden
Step 1. Build the raised garden bed.
If you don’t know how to DIY this, then I would highly recommend the VegTrug Raised Garden Bed we purchased at Home Depot. It’s a small 41″ raised garden bed, which was perfect for our little gardener. Once the garden bed is built, move it to the location you want.
Step 2. Piano Man placed the soil in the little peat pots.
He labeled each one with a marker, then he placed the seeds in the middle.
Step 3. Add soil to garden bed.
For a 41″ raised garden bed, I thought one bag of garden soil would be enough. Turns out that two bags would be needed to give it enough space in the garden bed.
Step 4. Carve out spots for planted peat pots to go into the garden bed.
Step 5. Create labels.
We created labels for the garden to know where the vegetables are growing. Using large popsicle sticks, Piano Man marked each spot. It was perfect to add his touch to his garden.
Step 6. Water and watch it grow.
This has to be the rewarding part. Now that all the prep and planing is done, Piano Man waters and check his garden regularly. It’s been great to see him learn the art of gardening.
In fact, when his classmate came over for a playdate, the boys pretended to make another garden bed in the sandbox with soil, sand, and acorns from the yard. How cute is that?
Cool Things Kids Learn About Gardening
Here are some cool things I noticed Piano Man when he started his garden:
- Caring for the environment
We live in such a fast-paced world. Smart phones and Interet make us move faster, making it tougher to learn the art of waiting, patiently. Kids can see progress right before their very eyes. It also feel satisfying to watch your hard work turn into something positive.
Tips about Gardening
While I’d like to say that this garden went off without any issues, we had to prepare ourselves if things didn’t go well. If you’ve never started a garden before, here are few tips that might help you get started:
- Start Small. Don’t put too much in the garden.
- Keep the soil moist.
- Check on the garden often.
- Water while you are away
The watering while you are away was tough but not impossible. True Value Hardware had these really nifty watering mechanisms called a Plant Nanny Easy-Fill Garden Watering Stake Set, One Size (contains affiliate link). You can fill an empty wine bottle and use that to water your garden while on vacation. If you don’t have anyone to ask who can stop by periodically, this is a great option. And look our garden is growing! It’s starting to get crowded now, so we learned that we shouldn’t have too much in the garden bed. Starting small would have been a better option for us.
How about you? What gardening tips do you recommend?
From my hometown to yours,
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