June 5, 2019

Summer Gardening with A Toddler

The act of starting something from scratch and patiently nurturing as it grows talks to a part of the human soul.  I’m convinced that gardening with my husband Josh is literally one of the few collaborative creative efforts we can do together without bickering.  You see, I am a many baskets type. I make a million in my life.. messing up tons and learning along the way. Josh, on the other hand, methodically creates a single one in his lifetime.  We clash every time we attempt to do a project together where each of us doesn’t have a specific area. Each way is a formidable road to learning the art yet somehow we butt heads while creating as I bulldoze through is “over” calculated ways and he “misses opportunity” to create because I have the patience of a 3 year old. And so it is through this activity that we have begun to find common ground. We play music, crack open a beer and start digging holes. Gardening isn’t rocket science.. and maybe that’s the trick. When raising a baby sometimes you need to just relax your brain and work on something together that is simply fulfilling.  

Helping daddy.
Building a special “Winter Sized” garden box that she could dig in easily. Plant kid friendly pickable things like tomatoes!
Gardening is one of my favorite activities for visitors with their own littles!

I really picked up gardening as a passion when we moved into our current rental.  It may seem like a waste to pour money into a home you don’t own but my mama always taught me, “You’ve gotta make the space yours. Get settled, waste the money. You won’t feel good until it’s yours anyways! It’s just money.” Last year I also gave birth to our daughter Winter Rose.  Being stuck at home more than this outdoor seeking adventurer was accustomed to. Having to be at home and sit still for weeks on end, a beautiful sentence but a prison sentence none the less.  I needed something to do between naps, running the milk factory, and keeping my business afloat that was creative and most importantly outdoors since I would not be hiking/backpacking and jet setting.  I set to work, digging deep holes all over and amending the other California clay like soil. I became quite the busy bunny trying my hand at all of my favorite things to grow.  That being herbs and edible plants!  

The little people find wonder in all the things don’t they.

This year the rewards of those hours are in literal bloom.  My 4” pots of fluffy white guard flowers re-seeded themselves.  The sugar snap peas we planted when Winter was 8 months provided us with a bounty of delicious peas to pick. Watching her little hands pluck pea pods from the garden that I started with her strapped into a baby carrier on my chest was extremely rewarding. Lettuce, strawberries, lemons, rosemary.. she loves it all and I think she is beginning to see that she was a bigger part of this whole process.

Darling miniature gardening set from Harvest and Hand of course.

Now the girl is her own force. I purchased her a miniature set of gardening tools and she digs around in the dirt like a little gnome babbling to herself about the stresses of one year old existence. It’s pretty freaking cute. She plucks every damn thing in her sight; so the next step is teaching her to wait for ripening. I can’t wait for her to taste her first ripe cherry tomato off of the vine. The girl has been helping me water them for months.  She is going to be so stoked.

Becoming a pro at gardening as I’m learning just takes time and practice. Trust me before this lush garden I killed many a-plant. Trialing things in different spots, making sure you dont get lazy and use bad soil. These are all things I have come to learn along the way.  There are a variety of portable garden beds that fit even the smallest of spaces.  As spring comes to a close and summer ramps up now is the perfect time to try your hand at putting together your own little oasis.  I hope you enjoy some tips from our garden to yours! 

Great Easy To Grow Spring Plants

(Kid Friendly Too)

  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Strawberries
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Mint (invasive so watch out)
  • Nasturtium
  • Artichoke
  • Lavender

Tips:

  • Summer heat means more water. That can flush your soil of healthy nutrients. On a cool evening fertilize your garden to replace all of that lost goodness.
  • Tomatoes! A gardener once told me that the secret to protecting your plants from pests was to PLANT MORE PLANTS. Don’t put your eggs in one basket. Start several cherry tomato plants at once. The tomatoes need the hot heat to produce fruit so give them a nice sunny place to rest.
  • Get deep! My biggest mistake that I made as a new garderner was digging shallow holes. Dig deep holes in the soil and make sure your roots have lots of unpacked good yummy soil for their roots to live in.
  • Try Seeds. Planting from seed has been so fun, I’ve only started doing it recently. Its super cool to spend 3 dollars on a pack of seeds and watch them pop from the soil. You’ll also have a ton more plants so there is a longer investment of time but more plants to fallback on if you kill a few.
“Helping”
Artichoke I started from seed
Surfing in a barrel of Nasturtium
Tiny dirty hands
Special lil touch. Josh fashioned this sign from recycled wood. I painted it!
It’s not always clean

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