Saturday, April 27, 2013

Planting Day

More hands make lighter work? Not when your extra hands are attached to a two-year-old.

Only a small joke, ya'll. The opposite was true, to be honest. Pictured above, Big Boy Owen properly planted seeds as we prepared our 2013 garden to fill our counter tops with produce this summer. He seeded an entire row of corn and was thrilled to plunk a kernel into each hole and carefully spread the earth over it.

That is, once we explained to him not to eat the seeds.

He learned fast, though, and shouts of "I pant torns!" filled the backyard. Big brother Nathan supervised, proud that his little brother shares his green thumb and excitement for the garden.

Nathan is getting so good at these chores that I talked to him about plant spacing and then let him loose with seed packets. He pretty much planted all the cucumbers and green beans (and half of the corn) by himself.

That's not to say he was serious the entire time, though:

Okay, now that the cute boys are out of the way, let's look at some piles of dirt and green, shall we?

Let me break it down for you (and also for me when I've completely forgotten what went where next spring). On the top row, we have the two 4x8 beds that are closest to the house. On the left is a bed full of peppers. For the first time, we are going for the heat. We have two jalapenos, two milder jalapeno types, and four bell pepper plants - perfect for crunching right out of the harvest basket. There is also a row of cucumbers planted at the back. We will add the trellis once the babies pop out of the dirt.

In the top right, there's a bed that we didn't really touch this week - the strawberries. These All-Star types were planted in March 2012 and have overwintered nicely. Each plant is getting new, bright green leaves and many white flowers have turned into tiny green berries. Our first harvest will hopefully come from here. That is, if Nathan doesn't eat them in the garden. This is the only bed he will eat from, so I let him get first pick (as long as he shares).

On the bottom left is a bed dedicated solely to my favorite garden treat. I only planted six tomato plants in this 4x12 space to allow more room to grow and less work for me. It seems this pregnancy will result in a third baby right in the peak of season. All new varieties this year, though. We have three Super Fantastic plants, two Parks' Whopper Improved, and one Sweet 100 (our first cherry type). There's also a bush type called Celebrity potted up nearby. We have yet to figure out an awesome way to support these bad boys, as we've abandoned the cheap spirals that are always torn from the earth by our growing plants. Please share any and all ideas!

Finally, on the bottom right is the very back bed. It looks empty now, but in about a week several seedlings will show their faces to the sun. This bed is made up of three rows of Bi-Licious sweet corn (our first attempt) and at the right end are Kentucky Blue pole beans, which will eventually climb a trellis. This will be Owen's favorite garden bed. He had a hand or two in planting it and it's two of his favorite veggies!

Once all of our plants and seeds were snuggled deep into the compost-rich soil, they needed one more ingredient. Although Jonathan wasn't ready to turn the two silly boys loose with a water hose, Nathan still found a way to get wet. Don't worry, though, it looks like he enjoyed it:

Owen, on the other hand, steered clear of the water and keep this dirty mug as we moved to the front yard to pot up some flowers, toss some rocks into the creek, and take a few dozen turns on the swing:

Bath time, anyone?

Now that spring has finally made it to southwest Arkansas, it's time to get off the couch and enjoy it. I hope you celebrated the start to this amazing season with dirty hands and dirty faces. Be sure to check back often as the Bauer boys' hard work grows into food. I am so blessed to have two little guys who are now old enough to really understand how the whole veggie garden process works.

I can't wait until Owen crunches into his first homegrown bean or enjoys a piece of "torn" that started with a seed he pushed into the ground. Pretty cool stuff, right?

Have an awesome weekend, y'all!


Aduke Schulist said...

What a fun way to enjoy family time and be productive. I wont be planting this year but im enjoying all the fun gardens taking shape.

Jodi said...

I know how dangerous little hands can be -- my (almost) two year-old is a little aggressive when it comes to "petting" the plants. One swipe -- it's a goner!! We have 3 4X8 beds in our backyard that we have already enjoyed lettuce, swiss chard and arugula from this season. Looking forward to the summer veggies as well! Enjoyed the post -- your boys are precious!

Unknown said...

I love little hands in the garden.

Lana said...

I love how involved your children are in your gardening! That is the way it was for me as a child, and I will always carry those fond memories with me. I hope one day, if we are ever able to have a child, that we can do the same thing. Great to connect with you through AWB!