in the garden

We have room for a garden in the yard but have yet to get around to actually dedicate the time and space to make it happen. Every year for the past 3 years we’ve started out with good intentions, then get lazy after the first big weeding project and fall back to container gardening because it’s easy and we already have the equpment. There’s nothing wrong with container gardening, it has served us well.

Particularly since we have started out small with mostly salad greens which benefit from being up out of the reach of the wild bunnies that roam the neighborhood. I’m just ready to move on to bigger and better things that need more space though… maybe next year.

Part of the problem was that after an unusually mild winter, it got warm really early here. Home Depot had some nice looking plants and I trusted them to know better than I did about the planing season. So, we came home with a bunch of veggie and strawberry pots and I got anxious and put them out in the yard before we had time to build the raised beds. Unfortunately, that has meant a bit more babysitting of the garden than usual. The strawberries have spent several evenings in the bathroom and we covered everything else with boxes and milk jugs to lessen the chill when the forecast warns of frost.

So far we have had good results though, and the strawberries are even starting already. This is our third try at strawberries, the first two were epic failures. Our first try was with a kit I bought that included a strawberry pot (featured in the pictures above with Kaylee) and plant roots. They failed to grow. Last year I bot a plant from Lowes and put it in the same pot as the peppers, never bore fruit. This year I stumbled on an idea to grow them in a hanging planter basket on Pinterest and decided to give it another go. We hung the basket from a shepherds hook which puts it at just the right height for Kaylee to keep an eye on her ‘sawberries’. This time around I think we might actually see some fruit, assuming the birds don’t beat us to the punch.

I wasn’t diligent one night and I think we lost the tomatoes though. They look so pitiful. Sorry, tomatoes. I haven’t them out yet, I’m still holding out hope that new leaves might bloom and replace the shrivled ones. Plus seeing them every day, mocking me, is a good reminder to do more research before I run off and throw things into the ground.

Luckily everything else survived. This is our first year growing beans and I have to say they are quite impressive.

Kaylee has had great fun playing in the dirt over the past few months. She is very focussed during her garden play and she’ll scoop and dig and throw it around for quite a long time. In fact I often have trouble getting her to go back inside afterwards. But, she also loves to wash her hands so announcing it’s time to get cleaned up a few minutes before heading inside helps soften the transition.

I think it is a bit too soon for her to make the connection between garden and table, but I’m looking forward to letting her pick the veggies and help with the food preparation nonetheless.

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