Monday, April 26, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

We've been having some fun with planting this spring, thanks to Christopher's interest in gardening (they're learning about plants at school this month!). Last week, Christopher came home with a lima bean plant and wanted to plant it in the clay behind our garage, along with some apple seeds, so he built himself a makeshift garden and was very excited that he did it all by himself...Well, with a little help from his sister, who diligently brought him rocks for his border :)
Christopher has been asking me if we could plant a garden for quite some time now, but I just haven't put the time into doing it yet. Part of my hesitation has been that our backyard flower beds get almost no sunlight in the course of a day. My understanding is that veggies need lots of sunlight (at least 6 hours a day) in order to thrive. Is this correct? Any gardening experts out there, I would appreciate it if you had some thoughts on this subject!


Olivia D said...

we just planted our garden yesterday!

for kids i would suggest maybe herbs in little pots that they can watch grow and you can move them into sun as needed. and you could put them in the front yard where maybe you have a bit more light? you really do need a lot of light (6-8 hrs. full sun) and heat for veggies. growing up our garden was always in full sun all day in the texas heat and it worked great.

but maybe bean poles along a fence somewhere where there is more sun... hmmm...

Katy said...

I suggest picking up a book by an expert in your area. My 2 y/o and I planted our veggie garden this spring based off of Neil Sperry's tips for Texas. It gave specific varieties for our soil and sun situation as well as space. You can grow lots of things in containers (leaf lettuce is super easy- we harvest ours weekly). If you have a local feed store check that out as well. They usually have better varities and heirloom seeds than a chain gardening center. Herbs and annuals from seeds are great for containers as they are fast growing and need far less sun than veggies. One suggestion I found that was great was using an old baby pool as a container garden. As long as you start with a good, rich soil base you can be successful with almost anything. Adding a nitrogen based fertilzer helps too if your soil calls for it. I have always been a gardener but knew very little about veggie gardening, having book to reference was very helpful to me. Good luck! My daughter loves to help in the garden and eat all of what we grow, especially the lettuce! It's such a great teaching tool for kids.

texas mommy said...

Not to toot my own horn, but see if any of the advice here helps:

I would get a book or two from the library and think about building a raised bed on top of the solid clay we have in TX!