Thank you to Harvest Organics for collaborating on this post. While this is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.
It is finally gardening season in my area and I could NOT be happier! This year, I’m getting both kids involved, increasing one of our raised beds and trying out Harvest Organics Raised Bed Mix with our vegetables.
Last year, my garden luck was a little disappointing. Animals kept eating everything, and I couldn’t stop them until it was too late. By the end of the season, I had netting all over my raised boxes, in addition to the chicken wire to keep critters out. It turns out squirrels and rabbits were getting EVERYTHING. I barely harvested vegetables from my small garden. This year? I’m going to be prepared. First, I had to clear out the beds. I got lazy in the fall, and a really cold snap prevented me from clearing everything out before snow kept hitting us.
I visited Lowe’s recently and stocked up on Harvest Organics Raised Bed Mix. I bought a few packages of seeds and two packs of six plants – one pack of lettuce and a pack of broccoli because those are the plants that can hold up to our current weather. (Current weather is 85 degrees on Wednesday and highs of 50 on Thursday. The temps are all over the place). It’s too soon to plant tomatoes (hopefully by mid-May, this will be a reality), but I can start some seeds now.
First, the boxes had to be cleared.
After I cleared all of the leaves, weeds and random items from my raised beds, I added on to one of the boxes (the middle of the three). I’ve been gardening in either 4’x3′ or 4’x4′ boxes for years, and in 2012 I made the switch to the hard plastic 4’x4′ boxes. I have 3 boxes to plant in, and only one set had two boxes stacked (allowing for deeper soil). My yard is sloped, and while this has worked for me in the past, I wanted to take things a little further this year. So the middle box got an extra layer so I can have even more of the Harvest Organics Raised Bed Mix for my plants.
So why Harvest Organics? Well, I’m looking to have a cleaner, greener and more sustainable garden this year. Harvest manages to keep nearly 2,000,000 tons of waste from ending up in landfills. They are turning waste into organic gardening products. These products then feed the earth in order to feed people – and create a more sustainable planet. My boy has been REALLY into recycling and composting lately. If we attempt to put something in the trash, he will call us out and ask “do you hate the earth?” I actually love the earth, and I want to make sure it’s around a long, long time.
Last year, my daughter (then a year old) discovered she loved tomatoes. She would eat them straight out of the garden. I’m excited to go with Harvest Organics Raised Bed Mix because I know that the dirt is okay for my plants – no added chemicals for the plants to pass on to my family members. My kids love to help me water and plant things, so this is also one less worry for me – the soil will be fine for them to get their hands dirty in.
My son hasn’t always been a big vegetable eater. He enjoys broccoli and carrots, and we discovered last year that lettuce is okay, in the right setting for him. I planted the lettuce and broccoli plants in mid-April knowing they could withstand our colder temperatures, and also this gives me a head start on vegetables for my boy. He helped me plant seeds for carrots and was begging to pull the broccoli plants up, so we had a quick lesson on why they aren’t quite ready for him yet.
Tips for getting your child involved in gardening:
Try to explain how the seeds work – things won’t happen overnight, but certain plants will grow quickly. Kids like instant gratification and I’m hoping our broccoli shows some more growth very soon so my boy can see it.
Have your child choose a vegetable or fruit to plant (and encourage the vegetables you know will do well in your climate.) My boy loves carrots. So I let him plant the carrot seeds. He also likes broccoli and lettuce, and this summer I want to see if I can get him to eat tomatoes. It’s a long process, but I do want him to learn to love vegetables, especially if we’re growing them.
Let them drop the seeds in the spaces you want them. It may not be perfect (I’m sure I have carrot seeds way too close together.) You can thin the plants out later.
Ask them to help water the garden. Gardens need water. We were fortunate to get a decent rain the day after I put the Harvest Organics Raised Bed Mix in our boxes, and we haven’t had to water this week. But I know next month we’ll start to see drier weather, and my son loves to help with the garden hose.
Make checking on the garden fun! Can you measure your plants? This is another great way to keep them learning during the summer as well. And start talking about the meals you can make with the different vegetables. Keep your child engaged.
Do you have a compost bin in your yard? We made one last year, and it’s been a really cool experience teaching our boy about what can and can’t be composted – and checking on the compost weekly.
Don’t just garden – Harvest.
We really can’t wait to start harvesting our garden this summer – well, really this spring since we have cooler weather vegetables planted.
What are you planting this spring?