You’ve always imagined yourself as someone with a pretty good green thumb, but until now you’ve only tested it out on houseplants and window boxes. Now that you have your own house, it’s time to map out where your veggie garden will be and bring it to life. Parents, this is a great way to get your kids involved in a simple but rewarding project, too – a DIY veggie garden is quite literally the gift that will give all summer long with a little bit of time and attention.
Here’s how to get started.
Design your garden for success
This part is probably best done before you get the kids involved. Spend some time getting to know your yard to choose the best location for your veggies. Make sure they will get ample sunlight, won’t be too exposed to harsh winds or car pollution, and if you’re gardening with your children, that the plot is in a place they will be safe (not too close to roads). If the soil at your new home needs to be tilled, consider adding some organic compost to boost the nutrient levels for all the beautiful vegetables you’re about to grow.
Then, find out what Zone you are in. You can easily find out at your local farm and garden store, or look online. This will determine what varietals will do best in your climate, and when to plant them to avoid hard frosts.
Choose easy-to-grow plants – especially for the kids
It can be tempting to lean towards beautiful heirloom tomatoes and colorful peppers, but set yourself and your kids up for success with heartier, easy to grow plants first. Things like:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Snap peas
- Hearty greens like kale and Swiss Chard
If you have space in your plot, you could then add in plants like mint, rosemary, or lavender, or flowers like marigolds, sunflowers, or nasturtiums. Just be sure to avoid any poisonous plants whatsoever, as kids are bound to taste everything in the family veggie patch!
Tip: Don’t forget to put labels on your rows! Popsicle sticks work well, or painted rocks if you want to enroll the kids in a fun craft project.
Establish a routine
Maintaining your home veggie patch can be incredibly rewarding once things start to bear edible results! In the meantime, you can use the growing and tending process as a way to take responsibility as a family for the daily chores of keeping the garden watered, weeded, and watched over. Together you can delight in watching the first sprouts poke through the soil and fine-tune your watering habits to give your plants just the right amount. Your kids can take pride in eventually eating what they’ve grown!
Moving to a new home can be stressful for any family, but sharing the experience of building and nurturing a DIY veggie garden is a great way to get grounded and spend quality time together. The bonus? Your kids will learn more about where their food comes from, and you can enjoy fresh food right in your own yard all summer long. For more ideas, read our article on how to start a garden in your new home.