A fabulously fun post for you today that will appeal to the whole family!
How to create a family-friendly vegetable garden full of home-grown goodness just in time for spring!
Thanks to my family / education contributor (& fab sister) Emma for this post today…
I have always found joy in nature and seeing plants growing, be it trees, flowers or home-grown veggies!
In fact when we moved to a larger home with more ground, we decided to set up a greenhouse to grow our veggies in.
But don’t get me wrong – I am no experienced green-fingered gardener – in fact my first set of lettuce seedlings went to seed so fast we barely ate a lettuce leaf.
Over the past few seasons I can say that I have learnt a few good gardening tips and now we do have a far more successful home veggie patch. As we have gotten better at watering consistently (within the water restrictions by using collected rainwater), doing daily veggie patch checks for bugs etc, we’ve started to see the fruits of our labour and so, as our produce has increased, so has our joy!
We now never have need to purchase lettuce packs at the shops anymore, we eat our own organic version from home! We have enjoyed a variety of lettuce, spinach, baby spinach, chinese cabbage, sweet peas, baby tomatoes, sweet potatoes, spring onions, thyme, coriander and parsley.
This whole thing can be a rather hit and miss endeavour, but when you do manage to grow some of your own and share the excess with friends in your life, the happiness it brings is the sweetest!
Here are a few simple, easy tips to help you plan a small scale veggie patch of your own – just in time for spring!
How to create a family-friendly Vegetable Garden for Spring
1.Choose a spot
You can use a special wooden planter, a small patch of ground or a few garden troughs or pots. You do no need a huge green house or large space. We have even managed to grow things in a flat before. Bear in mind the space needs to be sunny, near to water and protected from creatures who may want to dig or nibble!
2. Check your tools
Essential vegetable garden tools include a spade and fork (for making air holes). We also recommend the Food Lover’s Market planting kits for kids which include gloves, a small trowel and special watering spout.
3. Purchase your seeds or plants
A recent winning find was the new Reel Boxes from Food Lover’s Market. Also available to purchase online from Reel Gardening. While online purchase your copy of ‘Reel Gardening – The Reel Easy Guide To Growing’ for a bargain R50. This simple guide is an absolute must have for any new gardener. It is full of easily accessible information and it will be an essential reference as you grow your garden.
The Reel Garden planting boxes are a unique product, they contain special biodegradable organic seed tape that holds the seeds in the correct distance apart and anchors them at the right depth for germination (sprouting). Two less things you need to think about! They come in a wide range to choose from. We absolutely loved the kids box, filled with kid sized seed tape, it was such an easy and fun gardening experience for our family. The instructions are also clearly printed on the tape so it is as easy as you get!
My next purchase will certainly be the Mixed Salad Garden Reel as we use our organic home-grown lettuce daily in our house now!
4. Prepare your soil
Make sure you have bags of compost and potting soil on hand and you are well on your way!
Prepare your bed using your compost and potting soil to make a rich dark brown soil. This is called loamy soil (refer to your guide for a picture).
5. Plant your seeds, plants or reels
As mentioned above the Reel Tapes make this really easy! Such a user friendly gardening product. Simply make a slit in the soil, lay the reel down making sure that they have the top colourful part popping up above the soil. Push soil back over and do a light watering. Your guide book has further details of which plants enjoy being neighbours or companion plants so refer to it!
6. Just add water
You will need to water your plants frequently, but also be careful not to over water! The soil should be slightly damp, not drenched! Add mulch, if necessary, to prevent excess moisture loss from the soil. Refer to your guide for any other problem solving!
7. Check on your garden DAILY
This could quite possibly be the most important step! Once you’ve planted your vegetables you need to check for pests. Remember not all insects are pests.
8. Enjoy your home-grown veggies!
Enjoy the blessings of your home garden and share your joy with friends and family!
As a mother and an educator I am genuinely impressed with this product as a useful tool for homes and schools to help children learn about plants and how food can be grown.
In this modern era our children are so far removed from food production, that many take it for granted and are not aware of the work or time involved to bring that salad to their plate.
I love this product as an easy way of encouraging the next generation to be aware and appreciative of the miracle of plants. I am convinced that this will encourage them to eat up those greens.
I read a recent article about a survey done on very old people in their twilight years on their lives and the overwhelming answers were that their memories of their families, friends, enjoying activities centered around the seasons and the simple pleasures of keeping a garden or enjoying a hobby were the happiest moments of their lives.
I challenge even the most novice gardeners out there to try planting a vegetable garden with their kids this spring!