Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Girls Garden

I am developing a plan for what will be the square foot garden in the back yard.  My goal is for this one bed to be a year around garden.  This will take some planning on my part and a willingness to pull plants as they reach the end of their productive time.  This is something I am not normally good at because I just hate the see things end.  However, if I pull the peas at the beginning of July I can immediately plant green beans.  If I replace radishes with beets and lettuce with Swiss chard or kale I can keep the greens coming.  I am still struggling about giving space to a cherry tomato- one because they get so very large and two because we will certainly have plenty at the community garden.

I think the key to this garden is handing over ownership over to my daughters!  This will be a challenge for me- but I think it is only fair.  They  put in a lot of hours with me over at the community garden which is my pet project.  There they get very little say and often have to spend time they would rather spend playing in the water park moving sprinklers around with me.  With all of the wonderful color choices offered in everything from beans to zuchinni it promises to be an interesting garden.

My eldest daughter has successfully grown every seed ever given to her in preschool so I am sure the garden will have plenty of marigolds and zinnias.  She proudly tells everyone that because we planted sunflowers one year and we let the birds harvest the seeds that we no longer have to plant them.  She calls them our magic flowers!  She also loves johnny jump ups.  She insists on the traditional ones and has no interest in fancy colors.

I will encourage them to plant things that they like and that can be eaten straight out of the garden. I love to start the day snacking in the yard.  The girls love the hunt and the anticipation of the first harvest.  They watch each individual pea grow and discuss when it is ready to eat.  Even the dog gets into the action and she gladly eats any discarded pea pods.

I would like to include the introduction of beneficial insects this year.  The ladybugs show up with out fail but mantids and spiders are more sporadic.  A couple of years ago we had a beautiful Cat Face Spider which we watched with great curiosity   Last year we never saw any.  About three years ago there where preying mantises everywhere and we have not seen any the last two years- at least not in our yard.  We don't spray at all so I am not sure why this is.

Please keep reminding me this is their garden!  Maybe we will add a fairy garden in the middle!