Everything Gardening {Link Up} — Tips for the Family Garden

Everything Gardening {LINK UP} @ Walking in HIgh CottonIf you’re a regular reader, you know that we do a big family garden every year. And it’s not always been my favorite part of the homestead. Probably because it’s a lot more work than folks like to make it sound and we’re already really, really busy! Don’t get me wrong–it’s totally worth it! (Hello, we do it every year!) But it definitely takes time and sweat.

Mr. Fix-It and the crew have just kept plugging away year after year and each year it gets better and better and this year they really won me over and I’ve been just as excited as they are–maybe more! This year I’m totally embracing it!

Our kiddos already enjoy it. They enjoy planting. They enjoy harvesting. And they enjoy telling everyone that comes to dinner how they grew the food on our table. (Which is saying a lot about their attitudes since by mid-summer we’re gardening in 100 degree heat around here!)

Want your family to enjoy gardening together? Here’s a few pointers from our last 7 years, if you’re just starting out.

DON’T

  • DON’T plant stuff you don’t eat. Seriously. You will not eat it just because you planted it. And cultivating what you will eat will take more than enough time and energy! (Ask me about the eggplants!)
  • DON’T plant everything. Especially the first couple years! Pick a few favorites and then add something new each year as you get more experience.
  • DON’T forget the fence! Please, please, do yourself a favor and think about fencing. The last thing anyone needs after working so hard is for the dog to run in there and dig up all your work in one afternoon {ahem…grapevines three times!}.
  • DON’T forget the harvest when planting. Sound crazy? When you plan your garden, know what you’re going to do with the produce! Are you ready to freeze? Try canning or pickling? Sell at the Farmer’s Market? Or just eat fresh over the summer? DON’T over plant!

Tips for family gardening @ Walking in High Cotton

DO

  • DO grow at least one thing for each person. It encourages everyone to “own” the gardening effort for themselves.
  • DO let them help! Get kid-sized tools and let them do everything you do. If you want them to be willing workers then teach them, and give them grace. DON’T worry about minor collateral damage!
  • DO work together. Make it a family affair–not just a chore they are sent out to do.
  • DO cook fresh. Nothing brings the value home for your children like picking dinner from the garden straight to the stove top or table! Enjoy all that hard work!
  • DO teach as you go. Not just about gardening, but about math, about science, about history, about faith–those teachable moments are right there if you’re looking for them!
  • DO plan, use companions, and rotate. We have a very conceptual plan, but it’s enough to lay out companion plantings and rotate crops. These all help with soil health and insect control–especially important if you don’t want to have to use a bunch of chemicals. (I’ve got some great companion planting diagrams on my Gardening Pinterest board!)
  • DO gather new recipes! If all goes well, you’re going to have lots of food–gather up some new summer recipes, some canning recipes, directions for blanching and freezing, and a list of needy families from church–DON’T let it go to waste!¬† (Pinterest is perfect for this too!)

Tips for Family Gardening @ Walking in High Cotton

Looking for even more great Gardening tips, tricks, and helps? (Or do you have some great tips to share?!) Please join us for the Mom Tested, Family Approved Everything Gardening {LINK UP}!

Everything Gardening {LINK UP} @ Walking in HIgh Cotton

Please:

  • LINK UP up to 3 garden-related posts of your own over the next 2 weeks!
  • Visit as many posts as you’d like!
  • Stop by to visit my co-sponsors if you have a chance–Dollie from Teachers of Good Things, Becky Marie from For This Season ; and Vicki from Vicki Arnold!
  • Pin to your heart’s content!
  • Share all the great links with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!
  • Use what you find to grow your own tasty, fresh food for your family!

Next month’s Mom Tested, Family Approved Home {LINK UP} will be Everything Frugal, starting April 30th…be sure to check it out!

You can also find me linking up at…


Comments

Everything Gardening {Link Up} — Tips for the Family Garden — 6 Comments

  1. I love this post. So fun to read all your tips. Sorry to hear about the dog and your grapevines! My garden this year is MUCH smaller than yours but we’re a few weeks behind on planting. I hope to follow along and get some great ideas from you. Thanks for co-hosting this linkup!

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