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Square Foot Gardening: Update

I'm like a lot of people, I think, in that I have good intentions to have a garden. I remember having one as a child, and loving it. I want my kids to experience gardening, and there are so many learning opportunities for all of us. Unfortunately, my attempts the past two years have failed miserably. But this year will be different…

I bought this book, Square Foot Gardening*, after reading an earlier version a few years' back. The “new” version deals with all the usual problems and issues with traditional gardening and suggests a solution for them. I'm enamored with the idea of gardening in 20% the amount of space, with way less weeding and work. We have a small backyard, but the problem is that we're at the bottom of a hill, and our backyard holds water like a swamp. It's awful; my previous attempts at gardening resulted in rotten, mildewed veggies, and I hated going back there to tend to them. With this new plan, I'm building a 4×4-foot box with a bottom, and I'll raise it up off the soggy ground with cinder blocks. So far, I have the wood, drilled the holes, and then got stuck because I need a second set of hands to hold the wood while I drill the screws in. The 4-year-olds were no help with that part.

They were, however, all decked out for gardening in hats, shades, and gloves. And the boots–oh, the boots. These are their rain boots, and they fought for weeks over who got the red pair (we could only find one). One morning, it was raining, so I said, “This is it. You need to wear boots today. Figure it out.” This was their solution–one of each color–and it's good conflict resolution and gets them lots of compliments when we're out and about. Brilliant.

These first few weeks you'll see a lot of updates, as it all comes together, but then I'll scale back to once a week. Look for another update this weekend.

Are you gardening with your kids this spring or summer?

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