I have made a valiant effort to prepare the garden for planting. It took a full week, but I am bound and determined to eat from our garden this year! It started with planting some seeds in those little black plastic containers. I did that on a Monday after getting some encouragement from the neighbors. I had been putting it off because I’m worried I’m going to do it all wrong and nothing will grow. But nothing will grow if I don’t plant it! So I planted cilantro, margoram, calendula and broccoli seeds. Little Monster helped me poke holes in the soil with her finger to put the seeds in. The broccoli is already starting to sprout! I did something right!
We harvested the sweet potatoes on Wednesday, which made for a fun birthday treasure hunt through the garden. I used the hoe and Little Monster spotted them and pulled them out. I didn’t think we were going to get anything from all those vines – it started from a tiny piece of sweet potato growing in my compost, after all – but wow! We got quite the harvest! Just look at that huge potato! We took the vines to the pigs and they devoured them. The cows came over and were trying to reach in the pen for them as well.
Then I cleaned up all the weeds and grass in the garden beds. We have used old, leaky, solar pool panels in the walkway and around the perimeter of the garden to try and kill the bahia grass. It is so hard to really kill it off because the roots run so deep. We’ve had the panels on since December when Hubby built the garden space for me. The grass underneath is done and is decomposing nicely, but the two inches next to each garden bed always grows a bit of grass. So I have to dig out the roots by hand.
I took the girls out as early as I could after pig chores to take advantage of the overcast morning. We had swim suits, sun block, and water bottles ready for whenever they needed to change play areas. They played on the swings while I got one whole bed prepared. The sun came out, we got the wading pool going and swim suits on, and I moved on to bed number two. I loaded each bed up with a half-wheelbarrow full of rabbit poop and a few shovels of vermiculite then hoed it all together to mix and smooth out.
The girls were playing so well together I continued on and planted my carrots and some Calabaza seeds. The seeds for the Calabaza came from a farmer’s market squash that we ate last fall. I have no idea if they’ll grow, but I’m giving it a shot! It is such a sweet squash. Perfect for making pumpkin cheesecake or soup!
Gardening with two little ones can definitely be a challenge. I have to plan my time wisely and get out there early. I also have to be ok with taking breaks for water, snacks, potty, diapers, change play areas, diffuse tantrums, etc. I know that I have about one hour to work, and if I’m lucky I can squeeze in a few extra minutes if I figure out ways to involve the girls in my work. They love to help! I usually leave half a mess behind as we rush back in when they have really had entirely too much.
I still have no idea what I’m doing, but I do know that nothing will grow if I don’t plant the seeds! So I’ve done my part and I’ve planted and now I pray that they’ll grow.
What crops are you planting this fall? How do you entertain your little ones while you work outside?