Wellness: Tending a Garden

Two young girls tend to a garden
Lifestyle Resources > Wellness

How many weeks until spring?! As I write this, it’s about 8 weeks until March 20th. In theory, it’s not that long, so I’m looking ahead to see what needs to be done.

I cannot say with confidence that I am the most environmentally friendly person. I take advantage of the planet more than I’d like to admit. However, dealing with climate change is my responsibility, and one way I can reduce my carbon footprint is to tend my garden.

Gardening is also really great for kids. They love to see what comes of the seeds that they plant. It’s good for them to understand how much time and care goes into each fruit and vegetable. They also discover that vegetables grown in your backyard taste better than vegetables in the grocery store. Even organic vegetables spend lots of time on a truck, which reduces their nutritional value.

I felt like the only gardening season that yielded any success was the year before my first child was born. My work hours enabled me to give all my attention to our small patch of yard. She was truly a beauty throughout the entire season.

The rest of the years are a bit of a blur, but I grew a few things here and there. Last year I started seeds but didn’t end up growing anything except basil. I have zero excuses for that.

In order to prepare for this growing season, I have a few ideas to set me up for success.

  • Keep the herbs close to the house. This goes for all the plants, really, but in my case, the herbs have to be just a few steps away from the back door to ensure that I tend to them and utilize them. I was thinking I could do this one of two ways. We have a great back deck, so I would love to use that space for the herbs. There are a few structures that I would like to invest in to make sure we have fresh herbs all spring and summer.

    • One option is to purchase some planters that sit on the back railing, providing me us with more open space on the deck, in case we want to put a seating area back there. The downside to this is that the herbs would have to be watered constantly, and in the heat of the summer, it gets insanely hot.
    • Another option is to order some cedar planters and alternate them with some pretty stone or ceramic planters. This would provide texture to the space and would also hold moisture better, ensuring a healthier root system and healthier plants. It just might take up much more space than I want. I might also be able to start some seeds in these planters, which saves time and indoor space. This is also a much pricier option.
  • Protect, protect, protect. I need to find an eco-friendly way to protect my raised beds from birds and squirrels. The squirrels have coveted every piece of corn. The crows love to peck at my seedlings. And the blue jays eat all my berries. The only thing I can come up with is to build a protective cover with thin PVC pipes and netting. I’m sticking to this plan because last year, I had analysis paralysis and didn’t plant anything.
  • Purchase extra raised beds. We have beautifully constructed beds, but because of the amount of seeds I purchased, I really need to create more space for our future harvest. The thought of constructing a raised bed myself is not appealing to me; I’d rather save time and have beautiful cedar planters around the perimeter of the yard.
  • Create an indoor space for seedlings. In the past, I’ve put our seedings in the house, where we can tend them and love them, but it has always felt like an afterthought. I am brainstorming how to really make them feel at home for the short time they’re in our house!

What about you? Any gardening ideas?