Do You Have a Garden? You NEED One!
Do you plant a garden? If you check your local nursery or stores, you can most likely still find plants and it’s not too late if you get going:)
Have you ever tried your hand at growing your your own food?
Why should you? What if it’s just you, is it worth it? I believe so, just for the simple fact of a bit of self-reliance, some skills learned along the way and yummy fruits and vegetables right out your own doors.
There are so many reasons why it is important to teach our children to garden you can read a bit later in the post.
There are so many ways to garden!
These are the types that I will address here in this post: Our family garden, small-contained area, container garden, and the Box or Raised Bed that my friend and neighbor Jami Tolman is going to show us hers, and it is AMAZING!
Hopefully something will fit your needs, budget and resources. And do NOT forget to check your area for community gardens to participate in also!
Let’s begin small with container growing. I found a wonderful article on how to grow in many types of containers HERE
***This method works really well with herbs so you can keep them handy right out your door, or to bring them inside when the weather turns cold, or so they don’t take over your garden.
I wanted some cherry tomato plants, but they can take over the entire garden! So we compromised and Stan helped me plant this attractive pot.
This same method will work great for:
- and more!
- I purchased a pot, potting soil, a cage, soil moist granules (Stan really likes this to help maintain the moisture in the dirt), and I purchased ‘SunSugar’ Cherry Tomatoes. I love the little sweet ones to eat plain instead of candy when I want a treat.
2- Stan began by filling the pot with the dirt and then making an indentation for the plant
3- Next he sprinkled in the soil moist granules (a personal preference)
4- Take the plant out of the original container (unless otherwise specified) and put into the hole deep. Push the dirt around it.
5- Stan also added dirt from our garden since it is good soil, so that is an idea if you have it.
Then place the cage over the plant, centering it and pushing it in rather deep. Be careful not to hit the roots or the plant.
6- Water, make sure it has the proper sunshine and there you go!
I’ll show you a small area of planting, our garden and box raised gardens – keep watching!
- As we plant a pot, or a plot, we can join in the beauty of creation. To turn the dirt, exposing the rich dark soil and the smell of earth, brings life to the senses in a way that nothing else can.
- Putting a seed or a young tender plant in the ground is so empowering to a young child and even to an adult. To nourish water and care for a plant gives a sense of responsibility, because if the plant is neglected, it will wither and die.
- A garden gives the opportunity to teach the value of work. Our kids were always expected to help prepare it, plant, weed, water, pick and even to help freeze or bottle the food produced from our garden for the winter months.
- As a family works alongside each other, it naturally provides a wonderful time to talk, laugh, and even open the way for deeper discussions about life, and whatever they want to talk about too.
- Consider this: As the plant becomes strong and can bear fruit, we want our children to grow to become productive members of our family and society.
- Food for thought: As some plants and trees shed their leaves and fruit for the winter to rest and regain strength, we also do this during difficult phases of our life.
Our Family Garden
Our family garden is usually laid out like this, with modifications from year to year and experiments of how to make it easier.
This particular year Stan tried pvc ‘cages’ over strictly metal. He said he has mixed reviews on it….
He has the wire screens up for the cucumbers to grow up for easier picking.
And look at those amazing herbs he grows for me to cook with!
Notice the pot at the end of the garden, that has an aloe vera plant in it so it could be brought in during the cold season to prevent it from freezing.
The ground is a bit muddy from rain, but it’s a beautiful site to me that we are able to have one every year and it’s all because of Stan:) Thanks sweetie!
Small Area Garden or Contain Gardening
1- If you don’t have a large space to plant, or you do not want something to spread too far and take over, such as strawberries, here’s a way to do this.
2- Plant in a contained area, such as this where it is backed by walls and pavers.
Note: These particular strawberries came with the instructions to plant IN the container, and not to remove them from it. They are biodegradable and have a fertilizing system within the container itself to feed it as it dissolves.
3- Plant according to the directions on the tag, meaning as deep as it says and cover completely with soil and water as specified.
Raised Bed or Box Bed Garden
For a Raised Bed Box Garden, my neighbor Jami generously allowed me to bring you into her lovely garden. She also provided the details you will read with each picture. THANK YOU Jami Tolman for you kindness to share with us, and your inspiration to be a fabulous gardener!
This box has beans on one side and kale, romaine lettuce and cucumbers on the other.
The cucumbers are right next to the center line and will climb up the trellis.
Bush peas grow on one side of this box. The lettuce on the other side came up from last year.
There was an empty space in the box so I planted a pepper plant there.
When the peas are done producing, I will plant either bush beans there or hold off and do a fall crop of peas.
This is my pumpkin trellis. The pumpkin vines grow up and over. Since pumpkin vines grown so long, I turn them around at the bottom and they grow up and over again.
The pumpkins fall throw the net and grow hanging down. It makes it easier to pick and they don’t get misshapen or rotten bottoms from being on the ground.
This is our deep box set-up. Each tier is 6 inches tall for a total of 2 feet at its tallest. We wanted a variety of depths and like this set up best.
We planted carrots and peanuts in the top tier.
Potatoes are the next tier down.
We planted asparagus in the 2 twelve inch boxes.
Marigolds and nasturtiums are in the 6 inch box at the bottom.
Growing tomatoes up a trellis like this allows you to grow one plant per square foot.
Pinch all the suckers off so your plant doesn’t get too bushy and then help weave it through as it grows.
Last year my corn was about 5 feet tall and not done growing when a fairly strong wind blew it over. I had to build support system to help them stand back up again which was time consuming and not very effective.
This year, I thought I would try to save them before they blew over. I put a net over the soil and planted a corn in each hole. Then I raised the net about 3 feet high and will help the corn grow in between the holes. I will then place another net about 5 feet high and have a double support. I am going to add 2 poles on each side of the long side of the boxes to stretch the net out seeing as it’s hanging down in the center right now.
Again, thank you Jami for allowing us to see your beautiful garden and explaining how we can have our own Box or Raised Garden also!
HERE is a great article if you would like more information on how to grow your own Raised Box Garden.
I hope you will consider starting a garden of fruits, vegetables, herbs this year, or for sure next year. It is a rewarding and gratifying experience. ENJOY!
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2017
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today