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Gardening With Children Kids love to plant and dig in the garden. Do your children enjoy the outdoors with you?

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Old 02-19-2005, 08:39 AM
Pamela'shome's Avatar
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Gardens 2005

Here in Arizona we usually have our gardens going by now, but we have had a lot of rain & cooler temps than usual. So we have not even tilled or plowed yet. I have a very big garden area. Last year it was taken over by okra my dh tilled in some plants from the year before & the pods were full of seeds. All okra was pulled out this time & burned. Being this year I don't think I will plant as big a garden. Know I want my fresh tomatoes, already bought my onion sets too those are easy to grow not much maintence. A few okra plants, cantaloupe & honeydew for sure. Oh yeah dh loves radishes too those are pretty easy also. Maybe I can get more help from dh little one likes to help in there. Any suggestions for gardening in my shape?
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Old 02-19-2005, 09:20 AM
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Welcome to Family Corner! Congrats on the little one on the way!! When is he/she due? I cant believe my DD turns 2 in May!


How about container gardening for this year? You could still pick and choose what you would like to grow but then you wouldnt have the work of a big garden.




Tami
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Old 02-20-2005, 04:11 AM
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I do have a lot of pots a couple big ones too. When my neighbor moved she gave me all the pots she had in her shed and there is a lot of them. So maybe some of it I could do that way. I don't have a very big porch either front or back that the dogs stay off of. Yesterday I bought some mint seeds to plant on the front porch since they require partial shade. I am thinking about utilizing only a portion of the garden. Have had a problem with grass invading last couple of years & even though I don't like chemicals in my garden thinking of treating half to kill off grass. Then use part of other half this year put a bit of a buffer in between the 2. My dad always gives me money to buy extra tomatoes from them. May have to tell him come & help out with the garden on his days off. Here in Az we have to garden by irrigation with raised rows, makes a little more work but best way to keep plants growing in the heat we get here.
The baby is due Sept. 22, so that is why I am looking for ideas. We are still harvesting all the way through november. Although this year I had a couple of tomatoes that made it past the frost & into Jan. We plan on making a tent out of pvc pipe & plastic this year to help the tomatoes go longer. I have had people tell me that if I Could do that my plants just might make it on through another season. It's been done they just pruned them a little to encourage new growth. I love fresh tomatoes!!
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Old 02-25-2005, 07:58 AM
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Pamela wish we had a growing season like that here....we still have 3 ft of snow on the ground and will till possible april/may. Our growing season is very short here and hot. I planted gardens in past but just don't have the time to up keep them. We are gone for 2 weeks this summer to which cuts into the already short season we have. Hopefully nest summer the kids and I will make a small raised bed to plant some kid friendly items. Good luck with your gardening


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Debbie
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Old 02-25-2005, 03:01 PM
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The good news is that the rain did not hit us here like it did in Phoenix, so we are drying out some now. But we do have more rain predicted for this next week again. Just hope we can get some of the garden cleaned out this weekend so we can get started planting soon.
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Old 03-02-2005, 12:04 PM
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Gardening by the foot?

Has anyone done square foot gardening? I read about it a couple of years back and recently found a website www.squarefootgardening.com
We just bought our first house. We've always gardened a patch, but my 6 yr old son and I thought this looked pretty neat. He is homeschooled and we figured we could do so much with math and science in a garden . . .
Anyways, we were thinking of doing this square foot gardening in 2'X2' and 4'X4' boxes, with some bean and cucumber teepees tucked in and around. I have never heard from anyone that has implemented this technique, but I thought it looked like a good idea.
We too have to garden by irrigating and have always used hills, but this technique says we can do it without . . . .
Anyone?
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Old 03-03-2005, 05:37 AM
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Bsktbug2, what exactly are cucumber & beans teepees? Kind of have an idea, but want to make sure. Never know unless you ask is my policy. And would you make them yourself or buy them somewhere? My husband & I very rarely buy things like that we usually make them ourselves, cheaper & usually last longer! I will check out that website to see if it helps my situation any. I too have a 6 year old son & I plan to start homeschooling him for 1st grade. Just wish I had started for K, oh well better late than never I guess.

11 weeks now!
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Old 03-03-2005, 09:27 AM
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Pamela'shome

We tend to make everything too, and this one my son is actually constructing. We're using the teepee construction as a lesson in circles (diameter, radius, circumference) as well as measuring and tying knots!
This will be rather lengthy, but here's the article that spurred our teepees, I found it on www.icangarden.com :

Here’s how you and your little one can grow an easy bean teepee:

Make sure the teepee site is in full sun with good drainage. A week or so before planting, help your child to measure off a circular area roughly 4 feet (1.3 m) in diameter. Now assemble your bean poles, which should be 6-9 feet (2-2.7 m) in length and can be fashioned from bamboo garden stakes, tree branches, unpeeled saplings or lengths of milled ¾ inch wood-lathe.
Insert the poles about 1 foot (30 cm) deep into the soil around the perimeter of the circle, slanting them towards the centre. You can use as few as 3 poles or as many as ten, but remember to leave an opening for the “entrance” to the teepee. Fasten the poles at the top with strong twine, or with a plastic pot whose bottom has been cut out.

Several days before planting, cultivate the soil around the poles to a width and depth of about 1 foot (30 cm). Beans like soil with good organic content and lots of earthworms, so if yours needs enriching, work in several shovel loads of compost. (Leaf mould or dampened peat moss also add organic content, but are not as nutrient-rich as compost.) Beans are legumes, therefore nodules on their roots “fix” nitrogen in the soil, but this can’t happen until the plants have started to grow. So if your soil is poor -- particularly if you are unable to add compost -- it’s also beneficial to work in several inches of composted cattle or sheep manure, which contains nitrogen.

Select the seed. The best bean for a teepee is a fast-growing runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus) such as ‘Scarlet Runner’, with showy red flowers that often attract hummingbirds. Other good runner beans include ‘Painted Ladies’ with orange and white flowers, ‘Emperor Scarlet’ and ‘Red Knight’.

Beans are very frost-tender, so wait to sow seed until 2-3 weeks after the last frost date, when the soil is well-warmed. If the weather is dry, water the soil a few days before planting. Around each pole, sow 4 bean seeds at a depth of 1 inch (2.5 cm). Seeds will take 6-10 days to germinate. When seedlings emerge and start to grow, thin them to 1-2 plants per pole and gently twine them around the poles to get them started climbing.

Keep the soil at the base of the beans regularly watered, but avoid sprinkling overhead. In very hot, sticky summer weather, runner beans are often slow to produce pods, but will resume as the weather cools. Little ones using the bean teepee as a hideout should be gently cautioned about bumping against the vines and damaging them.

Runner beans are ready to harvest in 60-70 days, depending on the variety. Pods can be up to 8 inches long (20 cm) long when mature. They should be picked for eating when they are young and tender, since they toughen and become stringy when left on the vine. They can be steamed or eaten raw. Provided the beans are picked continuously, the plants will continue to produce new pods until frost.

Have fun!
PS Have you thought of signing your son up for the kids postcard exchange? It is sooooo fun and you can use it for school (we use it for handwriting and sometimes geography)
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Old 03-04-2005, 03:49 AM
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The teepees sound like a great idea for saving space. Just might try one for my cukes this year. I really ahve trouble growing beans here because of the heat. Earlier post you said you have to irrigate too, where do you live? I have plenty of cattle manure as we raise our own & have been using that in the garden. I had thought about planting my beans in Aug to get them started & see if they do better that time of the year here. Usually just as they get going good it will get hot here & they die off even though I have planted them to where they are shaded by the tomatoes & okra for the hot afternoon sun. I even tried potatoes last year & once it got hot they died too.
Was thinking of signing my son up once he got done with school year. Does sound like a good idea for penmanship & geography lessons. I think I got my husband on board now too, I have been researching online about homeschooling & found the local co-op & org. found out how often they meet & where. So he is not so concerned about him not getting the social interaction anymore so I really think we are going to do it! And the garden is a great p;ace for math & science lessons.



11 weeks & counting!!
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Old 03-04-2005, 09:19 AM
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Congrats on the upcoming arrival!
We are in Colorado (in the San Juans - basically a huge valley desert!)
We plant our beans in the shade . . . Last year we grew them on the fence and they only got 2 hours of sun, but they did really well. In our new yard we have all day sun spots and all day shade spots, so I'm hoping that with the installation of a privacy fence I can find a happy medium for the beans (and other heat sensitive plants!).
We just received a gardening catalog and now the kids want to grow strawberries. I've never had luck with strawberries in Colorado - Either the birds or the heat get them every time. I might let them try again this year, now that we have a dog maybe the birds will stay out of the garden! Now, if I can figure out how to keep the dog out of the garden!
We are starting to build our raised beds this weekend. My ds is so excited because he gets use the table saw (with Papa's help) and drill the holes and screw the wood screws in. Then we need to find some good deals on compost, peat moss, and vermiculite. We need so much of it to fill our boxes and so far our nurseries only sell it in smaller amounts. I've been told if I could find it bulk, we'd save a lot of money. Next year we hope to have enough compost of our own to use, as we just started our pile.
Good luck with Homeschooling. We have found it so rewarding! I actually work full time, as does my dh, but we work opposite shifts and split teaching. It has made us so much closer and our 3 yr old dd is starting to read!
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