A few weeks back, I was talking about how gardening had been such a big part of my life since I was a child. Even now, with our near constant travels, it remains an important part of my life through my Dad.
To say that gardening is his life would not be an understatement. Though he isn’t exactly a spring chicken, every day he gets up in the morning and works in his garden on and off throughout the day. He loves it plain and simple, and as a child he taught me to love it too.
Together, we are now passing this lifelong love down to the boys.
We recently had a visit with them that was supposed to be a few days turn into a few weeks for a couple of reasons. One of the most important is that they boys were having so much fun all day outside that I just couldn’t pull them away. They have turned into little gardeners, each day excited to see how their plants are doing. (And yes, they are a bit competitive with one another!)
My Dad starts all of his own seeds using Miracle-Gro Planting and Transplanting Starter Solution and we arrived just in time for planting. They were able to transplant tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, bell peppers, jalapeños and several different types of flowers. We also planted corn, watermelon, black eyed peas and butter beans.
I’m not sure what they enjoy more – planting or harvesting. A highlight of every day is going out to pick spinach, lettuce, cabbage, collards and carrots. My boys, who fight me tooth and nail to eat veggies normally, go out to the garden and pick spinach and eat it, dirt and all.
Though I love to join in the fun, sometimes it is nice to just sit and watch them. I’m so proud of the little men they are turning into and at times I’m left speechless as I sit on the ground with Skye (who loves to EAT the plants) and watch them go through the rhythms of gardening with my Dad. Those same rhythms I went through so long ago.
For us, gardening will always be about growing food but it is also about growing family.
I love that they get this time with him and also how much they are learning. We’ve eased up on their school because they are learning so much more outdoors. Sometimes I forget what sponges kids are when they are having fun.
My Dad is so great at sharing gardening tips with the boys. Though it doesn’t seem like such a big deal now, I love knowing that like me, when they are grown they are just going to know how things should be done.
For example, they now know that when we plant tomatoes we plant them deep and tear off all but three leaves. This makes for stronger plants. Really, is anything better than a fresh from the garden tomato?
They also got to see first hand the impact of Miracle-Gro fertilizer. We planted tomatoes on the 10th and the 13th, so logically the ones on the 10th should be bigger, right? Not so because the ones planted on the 13th were fertilized at planting and now they are actually the same size or bigger than the older plants. Christian calls it “Grandad’s magic”!
What are your best gardening tips? Leave me a comment below and share your gardening stories at Gro Something Greater.