Learning How To Garden

I grew up in a family of gardeners. When I was young, our basement was lined with shelving units and fluorescent lights so my parents could start as many of their plants as possible from seed. (I know what you are thinking and no, this wasn’t some kind of grow-op!). Living in Alberta, it was so nice to be able to go downstairs and feel like you were in a greenhouse in the middle of winter!

This is our garden box in the East Village Community Garden – photo taken in March

It has taken a while, but I too now get so excited about growing plants. Before having kids I couldn’t keep anything alive in our house except Devan and our dog. Plants wouldn’t last more than a week or two because I had no idea what I was doing. Since having kids, I love having plants in the house and now I am so excited to have Ella and Parker grow up with gardening.

This year I asked the kids what they wanted to grow and all they really wanted were strawberries and peas. So we started to sketch our garden out. We added a whole bunch of other fun stuff like lavender and pampa grass which we are starting all from seed.

We picked up our tools to start gardening from the dollar store, gardening shops, and picked up some books from the library (when we could still go to the library). My fave book here was “The Backyard Gardener” by Kelly Orzel. The others had pretty pictures but weren’t super relevant for what we needed to learn. Also, the sketch above has changed quite a bit. We have three large pots to fill on our balcony and we also have our garden plot. I thought it would be so cool to grow a pumpkin, but my mom told me it would need the whole garden plot so we nixed that idea.

The kids also planted a few chia seeds and wheatgrass seeds so that they could see things start to grow within a couple of days. The strawberry plants took almost 30 days!

Once the seeds started to sprout we moved each one individually to this Ikea Mini Greenhouse. You can open up the top of the greenhouse to let fresh air in while still creating a warm and well-lit environment for the little seedlings. The kids and I are learning so much about gardening and we are excited to see how these little seedlings make it out in the real world.

This has been such a great learning experience for the kids and for me. As I said earlier, this is all so new for us so if you have any suggestions or tips on gardening, please comment or send us an email. I know there is so much more to learn!