Gardening: Fun for the whole Family!

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watering and talking to the bell pepper plant.

Henry loves to garden. He loves planting seeds, watering, talking to the plants , and harvesting the fruits and veggies (even if he isn’t too hip on eating them all-yet!)

I think that it’s because of our heritage. My Maternal Great-Grandfather was a farmer in Minnesota.

Since we live upstairs in a condo, we don’t have 40 acres to plow and sow. So, like many urban farmers, we turn to container gardening. I have a growing Pinterest Board dedicated to container gardening, and I encourage you to join it!

Here are a few ways that we were able to start our garden on a budget:

  • I kept my eyes peeled on Craigslist free section for pots, I also put feelers out on social media for anyone getting rid of pots. That’s how we scored an awesome clay pot for our wild flowers!
  • We purchased heavy duty plastic pots at 99 Cents Only. They have a great selection of basic gardening tools, pots, planters, and tomatoes cages- all for $1.49 or less!
  • I found a great deal on seeds at Dollar Tree. I was able to pick up this box of seeds for only $1.00!  I only used part of the box, since we don’t have a lot of room for our flowers. In addition to American Seed brand, they also had some Burpee brand seeds!
  • Most gardening stores are having sales right now- check out your local shop and see what kind of plants are on sale! We picked up a huge bag of soil, organic tomatoes (complete and in a planter with a cage), Green Bell Pepper, a 6 pack of strawberries, and a lavender bush for less than $50.  We opted to purchase some plants in addition to seeds, just so Henry doesn’t lose interest in our garden (waiting for a tomato seed to grow into a bush is mind-numbing).

We are saving money on water too! Whenever it rains, we get out our rain buckets and collect as much as we can. It usually is only a few gallons, but we are able to use that water and not turn on the tap.

If you are new to gardening and aren’t sure what to plant or where to plant, check out Sunset Magazine’s Climate Guide. It will give you the ins and outs of when and what to plant. Luckily here in San Diego, it’s pretty temperate all year, so we can plant a lot of different plants.

Some of you may be wondering why we are growing wild flowers and lavender, since neither will produce any food. Well, no food for us, but food for bees! Without bees to pollinate the flowers on our fruit and veggies plants, there would be no food for us to harvest and enjoy! I try to plant flowers each year to entice the bees to visit our garden!

Our Garden Stones!
Our Garden Stones!

Last year we hand garden stakes with the names of our crops written on them. The sun faded them in no time. This year, we opted to do garden stones. I found a great project on pinterest and changed it up based on our needs.

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IMG_3957We were recently gifted with two HUGE boxes of craft supplies and they contained these really cool wooden Whirligig/spinners (kinda like these). All we had to do was paint them! We quickly painted them up and added them to our planters!

I think gardening is a wonderful project for any family. It can be as small as a tomato plant on your patio, or as big as renovating your backyard to have a mini-farm! Gardening teaches kids about the life cycle of plants, and how to care for something else. I think it’s important that everyone know where food comes from, and how hard it can be at times (especially when you are waiting for it to ripen), so that we don’t take for granted our food.

Talk Back: I’d love to see your gardens too! Please comment with a photo, or let me know what you are growing!

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