Parenting Blog

Square Foot Gardening with Kids

Two Sundays ago the Mrs, the Bear and I built our own raised veggie garden. It’s a 3×6 rectangle and 10 inches deep. This isn’t our first trip down vegetable road. We failed miserably last year, our patch being overtaken by weeds and bugs. We didn’t understand much about how to make it work (for example, we used existing, and as it turns out, rotten soil) and anytime it got too hot outside, we passed on the weeding chore.

This year, with a fresh raised bed of “clean” compost/manure and with me and the girls home everyday in the summer, that problem shouldn’t be a problem.

We do the weekly farmer’s market thing and always talk to the gals about where our food comes from (ie: not a factory) but the at-home veggie space is bound to literally bring the lessons home. That is the fun part for me, to see them get excited when the lettuce pokes it’s leafy head up from the dirt and the rest of the crop begins to materialize before their eyes.

The Mrs. designed the space to provide 18 one foot squares. A variety of tomatoes will back up to a homemade trellis constructed of electrical conduit piping with rebar at the base for reinforcement. A simple netting will be tied to it allowing the viney veggies to climb skyward. Bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, potato, carrot, squash, green beans and lettuce seeds have moved into their new square foot digs, with the Bear doing the honors (I took care of the onions). Tomato plants will be purchased at the market this week. The Mouse got to put the Popsicle stick identifiers in each square. The materials, not including the cow poop, compost, etc. ran us about $50.

That $50 that should come back to us once I can stop buying expensive organic vegetables that are flown in from Argentina, California and god knows where else. It’ll be sweet to be able to walk out back and grab whatever looks ready and cook it that evening.


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