I’ve never been that into gardening. As a child, I remember helping to plant things, weeding and enjoying fresh veggies. Somewhere between then and now I sent enough plants into the afterlife that I never wanted to touch them again.
What made me want to attempt growing things again, you ask? Girl Scouts.
Let me just say, anyone that ever tells you being a leader only entails one hour a week is a liar with a capital L. It’s a good thing I really like it!
When I first took this gig on I did lots of internet searching for ideas and made lots of sticky notes in my Daisy book! One of the first things I found, and loved, was an egg carton garden project that I decided was happening right then. I saved up our paper egg cartons for quite a while and a few weeks ago finally got to do it with the girls! The week before though, I tested it out with my younger kids and started some veggies at home.
It turned out great, my 3 and 4 year olds were more than capable of doing this with minimal help from me and they really enjoyed it!
The following week my scouts had a great time planting their little herb gardens! We did this as part of earning their Use Resources Wisely petal, which not only taught recycling but sustainability as well. Even though it was an easy project, I couldn’t have done it without the help of my awesome co-leaders, Joanna and Suzanne. Thank you both 🙂 I wish I remembered to take pictures while they were working on it!
We also participated in our town clean up this past weekend and got to plant flowers at a local park!
I am so proud of them all, they did a great job!
Once Willow’s herbs and my veggies began to sprout we decided it was time to transplant them into containers. My husband and I had gone back and forth with planting in the ground vs containers. After much research and thinking we decided containers were the way to go. If for nothing else, the ability to move them out of the way of flooding was enough of a reason since we live in a flood zone.
It seems the general internet consensus agrees that 5 gallon buckets are the standard for container gardens so I got one for each of my veggies. I also got some tomato cages for the vine plants and borrowed some planter boxes from my mother for the herbs.
I started by drilling a few holes in the bottom and sides of each bucket. Then got the kids to load the bottom of each with stones, which they thoroughly enjoyed! I then added some sand from my father’s yard and filled the rest with a mixture of the nice black dirt from our yard and some Miracle Gro Potting Mix. This I gathered from many different sources – from free gardening books on Kindle to Pinterest and lots of blogs – there is a lot of info out there!
Planting the sprouts was easy peasy, they really fell apart at each seam and plopped right into the dirt. I put 4 plants per bucket even though 3 is recommended, I just don’t trust my skills!
Then we did the same for the herbs, except they are in the boxes and some of them are sharing space. Hopefully they will be friendly neighbors :).
of course now you can’t even see the sprouts, but they are there!
Oh and we found a strawberry plant growing in the yard, which I can only assume was dropped there by some animal dragging garbage, so we put it in pot! It smells SO good!
We also transplanted the sunflowers Willow gave me for Mother’s Day into a pot that is currently growing bird seed! That’s right, the kids thought it would be cool to see what would grow if they planted some. So, they dropped a little pile of bird seed into a pot and low an behold a bunch of sunflowers sprouted right up! So cool! They are a little droopy from the rain but will perk right up once the sun comes back out.
And because Raven begged, with that super cute pout face, we got cherry tomato seeds when we picked up the buckets at Home Depot and planted them directly in the pot on the right .. lets see what happens!
So a few things I learned:
1. You really can start a garden indoors with an egg carton, seeds and dirt!
2. Ripping the egg carton lid off straight away and tucking it underneath was the best way to keep the water in the plants. Without it the water was absorbed by the carton and then just dried, but with the lid underneath they stayed nice and moist.
3. The roots really will grow right through the egg carton, you do not need to make holes!
4. Gardening is a whole lot more fulfilling than I ever imagined and the kids really enjoy taking care of our plants!
Now all we need is some cyclone fencing to protect it all!
Happy gardening folks!