It’s that time of year again-SPRING! I love the blossoms, warmer weather and longer days. I grew up working in my dad’s garden and that has carried over into my adult life. There are some amazing benefits to having a garden. Just having yummy produce all summer long makes it so worth it. Plus, it gets you and your kids outside enjoying the sunshine and working with your hands. Nothing better than nature and fresh air!
What do you need to start a garden?
I’m not an expert by any means, but I have had a garden for 15 years and it gets better every year. I start in March or April to prep the garden. Our weather is very inconsistent so I look for a nice sunny day to start. My garden is not raised-just a big rectangle in the ground.
Some things you need to start your garden…
- Materials for a border. We used some treated railroad ties. You can do a raised garden, but that is more expensive method.
- Every year we add a few bags of Miracle Grow, Peat Moss, and grass clippings then use a tiller to till it all in.
- Then I rake the garden into rows with valleys and hills.
- You need to have some kind of watering system. We drilled holes in PVC pipes and connected them to our sprinkling system. Then we cap the end of them. These lay in the lowest points of the garden.
When it warms up enough to plant, I turn on the water on to see which spots are being watered and that is where I plant. We have been using these PVC pipes for about 10 years. They hold up really well. We usually only water 2-3 times/week.
- I usually buy plants already growing since I get so busy in the Spring time. It saves some time and effort not having to plant seeds elsewhere and than transplanting them later. There are some local nurseries that I like to visit. I do sometimes use seeds for beans, peas, zucchini, pumpkins, and lettuce. Most of those can be planted when it’s still a little cold. I am also going to try corn and potatoes this year.
- Gardening tools I use a lot: a bucket, gloves, small shovel, hand weeder, and a knee pad.
- We made tomato cages similar to these. I like them big because the plants will fill the space.
- Insect poison. This is what I use, although I’d love any suggestions you may have to a more natural bug killer. I am trying to plant marigolds this year since I read they may help keep bugs down.
That is about all you need. Once you have purchased those few things you can plant your seeds/plants into the ground. Each plant/seed tells you how deep to plant it. I only weed every 1-2 weeks depending on the number of weeds. Weeding once a week is sufficient to keep my garden weeds super small. Now you can sit back and watch them grow!
I love to have my kids be a part of the garden. They like to plant and harvest produce from the garden. Weeding is a part of their jobs in the Summer. We do “weeding for 1/2 hour” time increments. Sometimes I will assign them a section of the garden or other parts of the yard to weed. My son has been mowing since he was two. He started with a bubble mower and has upgraded to a nicer mower. Little kids can start with a small shovel and learn about weeds. My son now helps my husband till the garden. Work really does help kids learn dedication and perseverance.
I find so much joy in gardening! There is satisfaction in growing your own food! Give it a try. Start small. I’ve always had luck with tomatoes and zucchini! Pick a few things that your family loves and give it a try. Let me know how it goes!
Things that inspired me…