I saw a garden stone once that said, “I tried, but it died”. I didn’t buy it then, but I should have. You could say my thumbs are more red- lots of plant death on these hands. But hey, the weeds love me!
We are going to try, even if it dies! My other garden motto is- A garden gone wild still has more tasty treats than no garden.
With all joking aside, I want to try to prioritize gardening this year, and I believe I can by keeping it simple and making it one of our “mommy and me activities” with Abe. One of my sisters in Korea, where land is scarce being a small country with a high population, has a SMALL plot in a community garden area. She is a good gardener, and she produces probably about 10 times as much as I do through the season and with about a half as much garden area.
In our new home, we are going to start SMALL and SIMPLE kid friendly garden.
Why Gardening is Important to Me?
Back a few years ago, I took a course on gardening, and I toured some organic farms and Amish farms. It was an amazing experience. During this course, I also learned about the “Dirty Dozen” which I looked up again recently and it has become more like the “Dirty Double Dozen”. I am not going to lie- I don’t get mommy guilt too much, but I do have mommy guilt on not buying organic foods. I enjoy the “deals” too much.
Still, it is always on my mind that we live in a food producing world where emphasis is on production/money, not safety; and convenience, not health. I think there is a correlation with all of the chemicals, pollutants, and short cuts used and the rising amount of allergies, health issues-mental and physical, and cancers.
There are so many studies and findings out there about this correlation of chemicals in our food leading to health issues:
I want to instill in my children that it may be a lot of work, but there is value in good, clean foods that they can grow. I want my children to think it is normal and worth it to work hard and reap the awards of putting their own food on the table.
April Planting Steps
If you are in Iowa, NOW IS THE TIME TO START PLANTING AND PLANNING! I feel like every year I read the seed package instructions for something, and I learn I should have planted it a month ago.
Down below I have a couple of links to the resources I am using to help us plant on a proper timeline. Being the end of March and beginning of April, Abe and I started to get pumped up for our gardening mission.
I told Abe he could pick out seeds he wanted, and I would also pick out seeds for the plants we wanted to grow in our back yard. He was very excited to do this.
We went to the store, and Abe picked out corn, cucumbers, peas, and carrots.
I picked out tomatoes, lettuce, and bell peppers.
I also had herbs (basil and cilantro) as well as zucchini from years before.
Then, we had the exciting day of playing in dirt, which I have some video clips of us doing this down at the bottom.
My husband also planted asparagus and onions a couple days ago as a surprise for me when I was away with the boys for an evening.
What Went Directly into the Ground
The cold weather plants: lettuces, spinach, and herbs (onions)
We have a lot of landscaping work to do on our home, but we have a terraced back yard area where we will be planting our garden. It is close to our home, and some parts of it get shade and some full sunlight. We placed the spinach and lettuce in the kind of partial sun areas, for they do okay there. We put the herbs in full light and some of our planters.
What We Started Inside
The warm weather plants we bought: bell peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers, and herbs
We used egg containers and yogurt cups to start these plants. We did about 8 of each just for ensuring we have enough to plant into the ground.
I would also love to have some herb gardens everywhere, so we planted a lot of those.
We placed these starters on a towel and plastic trays in a north facing window to get as much sunlight as possible in the baby’s room. The door is usually closed to his room because we have a cat. Now, we really don’t want the cat, who one year ate all of the heads off my basil starters (I about had a mental breakdown- I happened to be pretty stressed that year). We will have fun watering them and watching them grow there until they are ready to plant. I will probably make this into a paid chore to create more responsibility out of it.
The rest, the corn, carrots, and zucchini we will plant more towards the end of April or beginning of May when there is no more risk of snow/frost.
Resources for Iowa Planters
We live in Iowa, zone 5 according to the on the
USDA Hardiness Zone Map Better Home and Gardens website.
I also used our state’s planting calendar to guide us through starting all that we are.
As always, thanks for reading! I would love to hear about any gardening adventures and goodness knows I could always any advice!