Spring officially arrives tomorrow and our family couldn’t be happier! We’re eager to say farewell to the harsh winter and welcome the warmth of spring. One of the things we most love about spring is gardening. Gardening is a fun and fantastic family project we look forward to every year.
Because there’s still the potential for frost, we’re not ready plant anything outside. We’re not waiting around though. Our mail order seeds arrived earlier this month and over the past few weeks we’ve started planting them inside cardboard egg cartons and seed boxes. Towards the end of April, we’ll move our lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, beans, and herb plants to their outdoor garden home.
If you’ve never created a garden, you’re missing out on a real treat! Gardening is a terrific family project because it allows family members to work together, includes a job for everyone, and provides an opportunity for family members to enjoy one another’s company. In addition, gardening is an awesome family project because everyone gets a chance to enjoy the fruits (and veggies!) of their labor. Trust me…there’s NOTHING like sticking your fork into a salad you’ve grown at home!
Are you ready to get your hands dirty? It’s not too late to start your family garden. Here’s how we delegate the gardening responsibilities among family members:
- Whole family: We have a discussion about what we’d like to grow. Most of our crop selections are based upon what we like to eat, but we also choose colorful flowers that are good for picking and also select plants to help repel mosquitoes.
- Dad: We garden in raised beds (so we don’t have to fuss with finicky soil) using the Square Foot Gardening method. My husband is the one who builds the raised beds. I tell him the dimensions we need and he gets to work building the beds.
- Mom: After we decide upon what we’ll grow, I’m the one who determines the layout of the beds and orders the seeds.
- Children: My children are naturals in the garden. They’re full of curiosity and zeal. Plus, they usually don’t mind getting dirty! Our older girlies assist by planting seeds and ensuring that they receive ample light each day. Once we’re ready to transplant seedlings to the outdoor beds, the older girlies help plant. My toddler pokes holes for the seeds and helps water the plants. Once the garden is up and running, all of the girlies water the plants and help harvest the vegetables.
We use quite a few resources in the planning and maintenance of our garden. Here are a few links to resources we love:
Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew: a must have for square foot gardeners!
Seeds Now: my favorite website for purchasing organic, GMO free seeds
Garden Planning Printables: great worksheets you can use to plan your garden and track your planting and harvesting
Square Foot Garden Planner: helps you determine how many plants you can place in each square of your square foot garden
If you’ve never heard of the Square Foot Gardening Method, here’s an excellent video that explains the process:
I hope you’ll consider creating a family garden. If you do, I think you’ll reap a harvest of blessings!
Linked up over at I Choose Joy!
Photo courtesy of Keerati/freedigitalphotos.net
© 2014, Andrea Thorpe. All rights reserved.