- Melanie Patric
A Day Outdoors in the Garden...
Today was the perfect day to head out into the garden and plant the seeds we started in March. Many of our seedlings were more than three inches tall and since they've been spending lengthening time outdoors, they're all hardened off and ready to go to their permanent home.
This year, our square foot garden boxes are taking a break from vegetables and hosting a wide array of flowers. We are planting the gladiolus bulbs that we forced (along with several more glads we're just planting now), marigolds, nasturtium, and zinnias we started from seeds, and hollyhocks, sweet peas, catmint that we'll start from seeds. There will also be a variety of colorful leafy plants for the children to explore including sweet potato vines and coleus. I believe that engaging the children in gardening is good for them all around. Their bodies will become stronger and more coordinated as they dig and tend to the garden, they will be able to engage in many hands-on early science projects througout the growing season, they will enjoy many sensory expeiriences as they plant, tend, enjoy, and harvest, and taking care of living plants will help foster a sense of connection with the natural world.
The children and I started by adding some compost to the garden beds and distributing it through the existing soil with spades (and sometimes our hands).
After that, we decided to plant some leafy plants that will droop over the sides of the boxes. Then, we planted our forced gladiolas (which I am sure will be very happy to be in real soil!). We followed the glads with nasturiums and I finished the job by planting marigolds (they were the smallest and most delicate).
Over the next few weeks we will have to beware spring frosts and make sure the flowers have all the water they need.
It took us most of the morning to plant all the flowers; there were turns to be taken and the sandbox and balls to be played with as well.
When we came inside, we washed up thoroughly and ate a big lunch!
After lunch and naps, everyone was refreshed and so we read Are You My Mother and The Carrot Seed. We headed back outdoors at the end of the day and enjoyed lots of play with scooters, bicycles, and balls.
See you tomorrow!