Last spring the kids got the idea that they were Natural Born Gardeners, and they were going to grow ALL our veggies for the year. Fantastic I thought, think of the money we will save, so we got some raised beds to start them off. Like any self-respecting homeschool mum I also got some books to help the kids in the garden, not that my green fingered boys needed any help 😉
I had great plans of companion planting, neat rows, and staggered harvests. But when it came time to plant, the boys were having so much fun with it I let my plans slide and it became…’Boy Style Gardening: Lets plant these seeds in the most haphazard way possible, and see what happens’.
It was a great experience for the boys. The ran out every morning over the summer to water the plants, and check for slugs. I thought it was a 10 minute job, but they assured me they weren’t dragging it out to near an hour to avoid school work. So I believed them 😉 Soon came the strawberry harvesting. Well harvesting might be an overstatement, but we did get a strawberry a week for months, and we were still eating them six months later! Dividing a strawberry six ways is a life skill.
The carefully NOT planted carrots were tiny, maybe the size of your pinkie. Boys loved pulling them up and eating them au naturale. They tasted delicious, and left us wanting more. Funny how a packet of 100 seeds only produced about 20 baby carrots. I suspect it was the planting style.
Various traps were laid for the slugs, including egg shells and saucers of beer, and the old-fashioned way; hand picking. We still don’t know how to get rid of them without chemicals. Any ideas welcome.
The tomato plants didn’t do well at all. They shriveled up at the bottom, and fruit production was dismal. I took this picture the other day. In the middle of the winter our tomato plant has some fruit. I don’t think that’s normal but still…. We are Tomato Growers. ** Cheering from the crowd in my head. (Can you hear them too?)
So what we have learned:
- Slugs are relentless. They just keep coming back.
- Kale with slug bites tastes the same as kale without slug bites.
- Gardening is hard work, but rewarding.
- If you don’t water plants they die.
- If you over-water plants they die.
- We spent a lot more than what we saved. Boys need to pull up their socks to produce all our veggies needs.
Do your kids help out in the garden? Are they little-hindering-helpers like mine?