gardening 5If you were anywhere near my house Monday morning you would have heard shouts of “Watch where you’re stepping.” “That’s plenty of dirt.” and “No, no, no, no NO!”

The joys of planting a garden with my 2-year-old helper.

He nearly trampled my tomatoes, he gave the plants an overdose of “food” and he ate three packages of fruit snacks in the span of an hour just to tie him over so I could wrap things up.

Then he got “tired” and sat down to supervise from a lawn chair under our pine tree.

It was rushed, busy work but we did it! We got all our fruits and vegetables planted in between rainstorms.gardening 1

This is the first year I’ve grown all our plants from seed. I couldn’t have done it without my kids – they have been great helpers all along the way.

My boys helped me fill dirt in the cups, place and cover the seeds and water the plants whenever the soil seemed dry. I took a seed starting class this spring where I learned some tips and tricks to help green up our thumbs.

I set up a mini green house/grow station in my bedroom. I made two PVC-framed grow lights like the ones on this website.

We all watched anxiously as the seeds sprouted and grew.

gardening 3

My 2-year-old was the most enthused. He looked forward to watering time and followed close to my side with his own mini can – many times spilling water all across my carpet on his way to the plants.

When it came time to harden them off, my little helper carried plant containers onto the deck with me. There we let the sun take over.

The plants turned out beautiful – better than I ever hoped for. We ended up with 30 tomatoes, 3 watermelon, 8 zucchini, 8 cucumber, 3 pumpkin, 4 cantaloupe, 16 eggplant, about 30 pepgardening 4per plants and bunches of basil and cilantro. Then we direct seeded corn, peas and spinach into the ground.

My oldest two didn’t help much with the planting but they worked hard beforehand ripping out grass and ground cover for our garden spot. Now we are getting spots ready to plant the flowers we grew – zinnias, foxglove, strawflowers, lupine and forget me nots.

There’s something mesmerizing about growing plants. Watching something sprout, then caring for it as it develops into what it is meant to be.

It sounds a lot like parenting.

I only hope I can help my kids develop into what they are meant to be. And that they will continue to spend time with me in our yard.

Even if it makes me shout a little.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Elise
    May 21, 2015 @ 07:38:12

    This is awesome! And I am so impressed with how much you let your kids help – I need to get a lot better at that.


    • Natalie
      May 27, 2015 @ 14:59:59

      Thanks Elise! I’m not always patient while they are helping, but I try to be. Then there are times when I just need to be on my own and I work in the yard when they are napping or when Travis can watch them 😉


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