Archive for gardening with kids

Little Garden, Microgreens: Part II

Posted in edible leaves with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2012 by PickMeYard

The beauty of growing a little microgreen garden is that it’s so compact and convenient.  The toughest part for us is remembering to water them everyday and to never let them dry out.  We have forgotten about them before and had to start a new batch, but it wasn’t such a big deal.

We like to re-use food containers to grow our microgreens.  My favorite was a big, plastic birthday cake container from the grocery store.  We used a lighter to burn holes in the bottom for drainage. It even came with a lid… perfect.  We’re amazed at how many food containers are ideal for growing our microgreens… trash to treasure.  I can’t take credit for this idea though.  It was sparked by You Grow Girl.com.  That chick has some clever ideas.

I think this container had lettuce in it. The plastic is thin which makes it easy to burn drainage holes in. Sometimes I use the lids as a base to catch drainage water.

I keep a bucket of mixed potting soil with a cup on my porch all the time.  It makes it convenient to start a new batch of microgreens.  We only put a couple inches of soil into the containers.  The first time we grew microgreens,  we filled the soil to the top.  When the seeds germinated they pushed the soil right over the sides of the container.

When we grow microgreens, we tend to use a lot of seeds.  The seeds should be sprinkled generously over the top of the soil.  I buy bulk seeds for growing microgreens since they usually have a better price.  Oh, and some seeds should be soaked overnight for a better germination rate (chard and peas, for example).  Also, keep in mind that each seed type will have a different growing ideal.  Broccoli and purples cabbage are some of the easier micro greens to grow, whereas celery and basil could poise a challenge.  We love to experiment, hate to follow instructions, and have a “just do it” attitude around here.  We try to learn from our mistakes though.

Bags of seeds for growing microgreens.

After we’ve selected our container, half-filled with it soil and sprinkled our seeds, we cover each container with a paper towel.  The paper towel should not be removed until the microgreens push it up with their growth.  The paper towel should not stick to them at this point.  Don’t be too hasty to pull the towel off or you could pull your microgreens out with it.  We like to lift up a corner of the towel and peek underneath to see how they’re doing.

Microgreens trays covered with paper towels. We water right over the towels. It keeps everything in tact and helps the seeds germinate.

The seeds do not need light to germinate, but they do need water and warmth.

Are they ready yet? Nope, not yet.

They can’t be allowed to dry out.  I made a watering canister out of an old juice container by drilling holes in the lid.  It delivers the water like a rain shower.

More trash to treasure. This juice container was saved from the landfill and makes the perfect microgreen waterer.

Grayson spreading his favorite seeds... fennel.

Master micro gardener.

How could this not be packed full of nutrients?

Beautiful, non-toxic and chemical free greens grown in our rich little garden… rich with life!

Come grow with us!

Advertisements

Our Family Garden: Part I

Posted in Fruits of our labor, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2010 by PickMeYard

Our yard was beautiful before we started our garden.  It was simple.  I started noticing that we weren’t going outside much.  We would go outside to play a game or two, but even that happened less and less. 

Our yard before we started a garden

I started a small vegetable garden and realized that we were going outside all the time to look at the garden.  It wasn’t long before we turned the small vegetable garden into a large garden…and every year we make it larger.  We go outside every single day now.  Sometimes we spend the entire day outside enjoying our yard. 

Our Yard Now

Fenced-In Toddler Play Area

Last summer we fenced in a large area with chain-link for our toddler.  We wanted her to be able to play outside while we worked in the garden.  We are able to keep an eye on her and know she is safe, yet we are still be able to pull weeds.  Now that she is a little older, she is helping us pull weeds. 

Our Barbeque Pit

Last summer I also made a barbeque pit.  I envisioned the family sitting around it while I cooked our dinner over the fire.  My husband was irritated that I sacrificed one of our garden beds for the barbeque pit when I made it.  He got over it when he realized how much we used it over the past winter. We cooked a ton of marshmallows, hot dogs, and beans over the fire while we told stories.  The kids love it. 

Cooking over the barbeque pit

I do a lot of gardening in containers.  The black pots in the picture below are my favorite.  They are big but they don’t get too heavy.  They are made of plastic which is light and retains moisture.  I can move them around easier than heavy ceramic pots and the black color keeps the soil warmer in the winter.  However, I’ve decided that I don’t like the look of the black plastic and I am currently working on a new look. I’m going to paint them a natural green to blend in better with the surroundings and not stand out so much.  I tend to move them around a lot and “re-decorate”. 

Containers with Lettuce in Our Garden

Loring Working in Our Garden

Our Garden Beds

 Our garden has transformed over the course of many years.  It is always changing and we are always learning. 

Our Outdoor Chess Board

We love to play chess here.  I had Grayson help me build the chess board with concrete pavers and paint.  We collected the chess pieces from various discount stores.  I taught Grayson how to play chess and now I rarely win a game against him. 

Our Ship Playground

 This ship playground has brought my children many, many hours of sheer joy.  We added solar lights all over it that look like antique lanterns.  It looks like a Disney World pirate ship at night.  We’ve got solar lights in the garden beds that flicker to look like candles.  The effect is very pleasing.  There are several other assorted solar lights to up-light some small trees and light up the walkways.

Everybody Loves the Outdoor Couches

We find it difficult to leave our yard now.  We would rather stay home than go anywhere else.  Our perfect weekend is when we don’t have to go anywhere and we can just go outside to play in our yard with our animals and enjoy our garden. 

Our Ever Changing Garden

Come grow with us! 

Buckets of Love

Posted in Inspiration with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2010 by PickMeYard

There’s no doubt that Disney has glorious gardens.  I am so inspired by their containers. I want my containers to look like these.  Buckets of love.

Kumquat Tree

Fig Tree

Edible Nasturtiums

I have collected quite a few plastic nursery pots that I use for my containers.  They are large and the black color keeps them warmer in the winter, but they aren’t very attractive.  I’ve decided to spray paint my pots a natural moss color.  I believe they will blend in nicely with our garden. I’ll let the kids paint some of their designs on them too. I thought about wrapping them in burlap, but it would get soggy outside in the weather.  I love creative containers that are used for planting, but I also love the look of classic pots.

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival has breathtaking displays this year.  They have a booth called “Ask the Experts” with Master Gardeners from Orange County that are waiting to answer questions.  Grayson had several questions and Master Gardener Katherine spent lots of time with him.  We wanted to stay and talk to her all day, but a line was forming.  We will definitely look for her next year. 

Succulent Garden in a Hanging File Holder for Office Paper

Sugarcane and Nasturtiums

Mediterranean Container Garden

 Can you almost smell the flowers? 

Flowers are beautiful when planted with a fruit tree, vegetable plant, herbs, legumes… or just about anything.  We used to have our minds set on edibles. If we couldn’t eat it then we didn’t want to waste the fertilizer on it.  Our minds have changed.  We love our edible landscaping, but flowers make us happy.  We’re going to plant more of them.

Come grow with us!