It has been so unbearably hot in Dixie the last two months. The bugs have been having a fiesta in my garden because the plants are so stressed.

As a result, I have not been caring for my growing garden. I have decided not to plant anything in the dirt until we get some rain and cooler weather. The violas are going to have to wait to find a home.

Until that wonderful season of autumn arrives, I am sending you a fun way to create a pop-up garden of your very own. If you know me, you might remember that I love pop-up books, so when I saw this project, I immediately loved it. Here is the link for an enchanting pop-up garden project for you and your flower starved family!

Pop-up Flower Garden

Found this fun project at http://www.enchantedlearning.com

Kid-friendly gardening!

June 21, 2010

“Trying to keep my kids under constant surveillance while working in the garden, that was frustrating. Then my oldest daughter wanted to help. And, I, being a good and caring mother, decided she would learn a lot from helping in the garden. Also, I, being an egotistic human, thought she might even follow in my footsteps and gain a passion for gardening. OK, I was right and wrong.”
From the article Gardening the Kid-Friendly Way

When I saw the title of the article “Gardening the Kid-Friendly Way”, I was interested. Then I read the above passage and I was definitely hooked. This author could offer me advice! Yes! In this article she presented her own experience, along with some helpful ways of showing the kid-gardener the joy of growing. It is a good read.

I have a 4 year old grandson who is in love with the “idea” of growing vegetables. His two and one half year old brother loves eating anything he picks off a bush or a vine. Blueberries, cherry tomatoes — green and red –, strawberries — they do not get a chance to turn red — , and beans go directly from the plant to his dirty hand to his mouth.

I bought them some seed tape for growing lettuce and a cherry tomato plant this spring. We planted it all. The lettuce did not grow; the tomato plant wilted. I discovered that if I was not there to take care of the plantings, they died or underperformed. Remember I said the 4 yr. old loved the “idea” of having a garden? Well, little ones are just not ready to understand that a garden cannot take care of itself. Since I do not live next door to them, it was left up to their mom (my daughter) to tend the patch of planted earth. Since she works part-time and has three youngsters to raise, her priority was not growing vegetables.

Lesson I learned: teach the kids about gardening by doing a good job of gardening YOURSELF! Show them what to do every year until they really want to garden. Do not expect them to really get it.

Another lesson learned: do plant what they are interested in. Coopy loves tomatoes, Bubbie loves beans. Babycakes (the older sister who is 6) loves picking lettuce and eating it in a “sallit”.

The joy in you see in their faces is so wonderful as they bite into the harvest. Treasure that.

A Footnote: My daughter of the three kids asked the Easter Bunny to bring some seeds for the kids to plant. Those seeds are doing nicely. They will continue to do well until vacation time comes. Ahh. The joy.

Next year I will probably just buy this game for my grand kids:Harvest Time.

gardening game for kids

Harvest Time Game

Now go and dig in the dirt for your own self-satisfaction!

I found the most charming article today. It is written by one of my Squidoo Friends, OhMe.

Pendleton Elementary School Memory Garden Logo

Logo for Pendleton Elementary School's Memory Garden

What caught my imagination was the section about the first grade’s “Color Garden”. I think it is a great idea for creating a garden with one’s own child! To read about this garden, visit Pendleton Elementary School Memory Garden. Thanks OhMe!

Create a box garden with your kids
The above link (Create a box garden with your kids)  will lead you to a charming video. Nice concise instructions on building a box garden.
If you would like, you can visit my Squidoo page to see how I built my raised bed garden.

Click My first raised bed garden.

raised bed garden

My first raised bed garden

I found this lovely post about a “father/son” project I would love to share with you. Planting a Salad Box(click there). I think this would be a wonderful project. I am all about Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens!

salad growing in a box

A Salad in A Box

gardening with kids

The Healthy Kids Website has started a “Gardening for Healthy Kids Challenge” for us parent and grandparent gardeners.

They want us to garden with out kids! Here are some guidelines they are suggesting:
* Determine a small location and prepare the soil. If land is limited, try container gardening.
* Offer guidance for some sure-success plants like radishes, lettuce, spinach, but let your kids have fun picking seed choices.
* Let your kids do the watering and weed picking.
* Relax your standards.
*The point is to have fun and encourage your kids to eat healthy produce.

Sounds good to me! I have already bought my grandsons a patio tomato and some seed tape lettuce. They are so very excited. It just warms my heart. Now I just need to find some fish emulsion or good organic vegetable food for them to use. It is harder than you think it would be.

A teepee in my garden?

March 23, 2010

I am considering building a teepee in my garden this year.

I have a partly shady spot that needs some help! My basset hound will not keep out and the ground critters have been having a party there. I got the teepee idea from a cool website that specializes in gardening with kids. It is called Junior Master Gardener.

Here are my plans in my head: I have some really long bamboo poles left over from my last year’s garden. So those will be my frame. I will cut a circle from landscaping fabric to the size I think will be the best. I will plant some beans (type to be determined!) for the poles. Then around the Teepee I will put flowers – impatiens and maybe lettuce?

Keep checking back or subscribe for updates.

teepee for vegetable

A model teepee!

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