Get tips on how to plant an organic garden with your kids.
Hey there! You’re listening to the Mighty Mommy with some Quick and Dirty Tips for Practical Parenting.
This week’s episode contains content that you will find different from my usual parenting suggestions and tips, but it contains some fun information that can absolutely be applied to family fun and parenting. Getting your children outdoors and involved in planting a garden can be rewarding for everyone.
This week’s guest author is Beth Engelman. Ms. Engelman currently writes a column for Sun- Times News Group’s Pioneer Press. Her column, Mommy on a Shoestring Today she is going to discuss a subject that is close to her heart: organic gardening. To learn more about Ms. Engelman or to read her Mommy on a Shoestring column, check out her website at www.mommyonashoestring.com or find her column at www.pioneerlocal.com. It is chock-full of tips, games, and activities moms can do on the cheap. Prior to becoming a columnist, Ms. Engelman was an elementary school teacher, educational therapist, and curriculum writer.
If You Build It, It Will Grow
Organic gardening does not have to be difficult. Beth and her friend and organic gardening expert, Jeanne Pinsof Nolan of www.theorganicgarder.net, have teamed up to teach folks how easy it is to grow organic fruits and vegetables right in their own backyards.
Here’s a quick and dirty list of the things you can do to ensure you grow a fruitful garden:
Step 1: Choose a Sunny Spot
Pinpoint an area in your yard where you get between 6-8 hours of sunlight a day. It’s also a good idea to think about where the garden would best compliment your lifestyle as well as the aesthetic of your backyard. If your backyard is small, choose a small section of your yard for planting and augment it with containers of crops that can be perched on a sunny patio or balcony. Prior to digging, make sure there are no underground utility cables near your designated spot. “Call 811” is a government sponsored initiative that will help homeowners learn what’s below their property before they dig. For more information, dial 811.
Step 2: Keep the Critters Away
Protect your crops from deer and rabbits by building a fence around your garden. You can do this on the cheap by picking up some inexpensive poultry fencing at your local hardware store; or contact you favorite handyman to design a wire and wood fence that is tall enough to keep out rabbits, deer, or any other animal that is indigenous to your locale.
Step 3: Aerate the Soil
Breaking up and loosening the soil will allow plants to flourish, as aeration promotes fertilizer absorption and water retention. You should aerate your soil when it’s damp, but not wet. Tools such as a pitchfork or shovel work well in smaller gardens and can give your arms a good workout, which is always a plus. If your garden is large, look into renting a motorized rototiller at your local nursery or hardware store.