Dude #3 is a gardener and getting it ready for the season is one of his favorite Earth Day Activities.
He plans it, he plants it, he tends it, and he harvests it. All I do is grub what he grows.
At five years old he had enough veggies to keep us in salsa for the entire winter, even after he shared his goods with Mimi & Papa, and every house on our street.
He already started his seedlings for this year and has put in his request for mulch. He even got me in the spirit (and promised to keep everything I grow alive on my behalf)!
I spent a whole day working on my golden jars (Not because they’re hard, it was drying time. They’re super easy, actually. Just buy the gold spray paint and add a couple of coats to the mason jars you’ve collected from foods you eat. Just go to a well ventilated place so you don’t pass out, and put it on light so it doesn’t run down and look all clumpy.) so I could put herbs in them for use in the kitchen…
I keep them in this recycled, kid designed, window box (aka a clementine box from Costco) and put them on my porch, or in my window, or on my table as a centerpiece.
Even if they do nothing else but look pretty I’m calling them a win!
When it comes to actually gardening though, I’m a dud. I don’t like garden dwelling creatures, I don’t like sweating from the sun (working out in the gym=totally my speed), and I really stink at it.
The only thing I can grow and keep alive seems to be humans.
But, man do I appreciate having a garden in my yard to keep me in veggies all summer. I feel so green, and frugal, and sustainable, and full!
Here are some gardening tips I stole from my kid to help you enjoy some home grown awesome too!
Easy Earth Day Gardening Tips (for People Who Like Vegetables and Flowers and Things That Grow, But Not Being Outside, or Sweating, or Gardening)
1. Go small. Just this once, go big is not the answer. When it comes to gardening, big just means more work. Start with something you can manage; something you won’t hate because you have to break your back to keep it alive. Something that is easy to dump in the trash should things not work out. He started his first garden in containers. Just a tomato plant, a pepper plant, and cilantro, in planters that we could move around to beat the thieving squirrels and catch better light. Less work, but plenty of salsa!
2. Use good soil. Our first year, I discovered the treasure trove of free dump mulch. Yes, frugal and green, but it also means that you may wind up with a garden full of weeds with roots that are long enough to wrap around the Earth’s core and hold on for dear life. I speak from experience when I say NIGHTMARE. Instead think about getting a slightly higher grade of mulch. Then add an organic fertilizer; it won’t breed weeds and it’s healthier too.
3. Take advantage of rain water. Last year we did a front garden only, and used a bunch of plastic containers to collect rain. This season he’s moving to a bigger space in the back so we’re constructing a rain water collection system to help. Maybe.
4. Plant stuff you like. Something about knowing I’m going to have salsa coming out of my ears if things go as planned makes me support gardening efforts more intensely. This year I convinced him to grow everything I need to have a delicious, packed salad (lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and zucchini) too.
5. Make it fun. I enjoy sitting under my umbrella with a snack and a glass of tea, occasionally dousing him with hose water while he works. He likes the planting and the dirty hands and the bug catching and the watering and the things that actually keep the thing alive. We’re a perfect team!