Sharing a Passion of Gardening with Your Kids!
Gardening is a passion of mine. I can’t remember a time that I did not have a garden in my yard/patio/balcony/deck. Now that we’ve been confined to our home (only leaving for essentials) due to the coronavirus, gardening has taken on a whole new meaning for me. A little bit of history here. Gardening during pandemics is actually a common practice. During WWI and WWII, people planted Victory Gardens to supply fresh produce to the community. Today, the ability to create a “victory garden” has become more and more popular. And since I’m known as a perpetual gardener, I’ve been receiving a lot of emails and calls for advice on vegetable gardens.
Building a garden plan to grow your own vegetables has so many rewards and one of them is simply that it’s a physical activity. This article will provide you with the basics of building a garden whether it be in the ground in your backyard or in containers on your balcony.
There are many things to think about when planning your garden. I like to call them the 4 W’s: Where, Why, What, When?
Where will you plant your garden? Do you have a spot in the yard that can accommodate your plants? Or will you have a container garden near the house or on a porch or balcony. Or simply a small bunch of herbs in a pot by a sunny window. No matter where you plant, it is necessary to prepare the area. In a yard, it may require you to clear the spot and prepare it for growth. Remove any old plants and turn over the soil making sure it is clean and ready for the new plants. If no yard is available, do you have pots/containers?
Why are you planting? Is this a new hobby? Is this a new family activity that will also provide a way to get a constant supply of fresh foods/vegetables instead of going to a store? As I mentioned previously, it a great way to stay active and get some exercise. Maybe you want to grow a Pizza Garden or a Strong and Healthy Garden?
What will you plant? If you are leaning towards growing a Pizza Garden – you will need to plant tomatoes, basil, maybe some oregano. If you just want to pick and choose everyone’s favorites for a Strong and Healthy Garden, think of some of the more popular fruits and vegetables for your family. This year, my family wanted lettuce, spinach, potatoes, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, peas, beans, peppers, summer squash, zucchini and garlic. This will all take a bit of space and quite a lot of work but I will plant gradually and hopefully just have to maintain and water during the summer months.
When to plant depends on your zone in the country? Check your local paper or garden stand to determine when the last frost in your area is and when things should go into the ground. Space it out and plant a little at a time so it is not too overwhelming.
Gardening can be a very fun and rewarding thing to do and it is the perfect activity to get the whole family involved. Planting things from seed or a small seedling and watching them grow into mature plants with edible fruits and vegetables is good for the mind, soul and body. Some of the benefits include exercise/fitness, fresh healthy food all summer and fall, self-esteem and self-satisfaction. Make sure to follow our BOKS Trainer Community on Facebook and check back weekly for information and helpful garden hints. This is a great place to ask questions, share your successes, and get feedback about ideas you may have for your garden. Get out there and Dig In!
BOKS Mentor, Team & Outreach