Week 2: Grow!

Grow

Grow!

“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose, I would always greet it in a garden.” - Ruth Stout

It’s the perfect time to create a spring vegetable garden! There are lots of veggies that thrive in the cooler temperatures of spring such as lettuces, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, beets, carrots, kale, and radishes.

First a sunny spot in your yard, or even on a balcony, to plant your garden. Everyone knows it is good to eat your veggies, so let’s dig in and get planting!

Day 1: Garden in a Bag

Spring is a great time to get the greens growing. Consider growing some greens using a bag of potting soil.   

Materials:

  • Bag of potting soil
  • Box cutter or scissors
  • Large screwdriver or some pointy scissors
  • Garden spade
  • Seeds such as spring lettuce, spinach, radish or the green of your choice
  • Garden gloves                      

Steps for Assembly:

  1. Start with a bag of potting soil in your preferred size. 
  2. Take a pointy object and poke drainage holes over the entire surface of the flat side of the bag.
  3. Flip the bag over and using a box cutter cut out a large rectangle of the flat side of the bag to expose the soil in the bag
  4. Using a garden spade or your hands loosen the soil.
  5. Using you finger or a pencil create a shallow trench about a quarter of an inch deep.
  6. Sparsely scatter lettuce, spinach or the green of your choice seeds and then cover trench lightly with soil.
  7. Water seeds and place your bag in a spot where it can soak up the sun and there will be greens in no time.

Day 2: Make A Mini-Greenhouse 

This mini-greenhouse can provide an opportunity to jump-start seeds for the summer garden. Once created set the greenhouse aside to warm and get ready to plant summer starter plants! 

Materials:

  • Make a new garden in a bag (don’t plant seeds in it - yet).
  • 90-quart clear plastic storage tub with lid.
  • packs of seeds or starter plants for a summer garden.

Instructions:

  1. Place your garden bag on the container lid with holes facing down on the lid.
  2. Put the tub bottom on top of the lid and bag of garden soil.
  3. Set in a sunny spot.


Day 3: Plant Summer Starter Plants 

Use your mini-greenhouse to get your favorite summer vegetable started. Seeds for summer gardens include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, and zucchini to name a few. Seeds can be purchased at a local garden center, online, or even at the dollar store.

Materials:

  • Mini-greenhouse
  • packs of seeds or starter plants for a summer garden
  • Garden gloves
  • Garden tools

Instructions:

  1. Plant seeds according to directions on the seed package.
  2. Make sure to label rows.
  3. Place in a sunny spot and water frequently. Make sure to take the greenhouse off once the days warm up or it could get too hot for the plants in there.
  4. When plants are ready move to your garden, raised beds, or make a container garden out of pots, grow bags, and buckets (that comes next). 
  5. Reuse a yogurt cup to make your row labels. Simply wash out the cup when finished, cut off the rim, then cut half inch strips around the cup. Use a permanent marker to write the seed name on the strips.

Day 4: Create a Container Garden

If you don’t have room for a garden plot or raised bed in your yard, you can create a veggie garden almost anywhere in a container. Pots, grow bags, or food safe buckets call all be used when creating a container garden. 

Materials:

  • Pots, grow bags (you can even use the reusable woven-style shopping bags you can get for $1 at many grocery stores or the dollar store), Buckets (make sure the plastic is food safe #2), or ceramic, terracotta or other gardening pot with hole. 
  • If using a bucket, drill holes in the bottom for drainage
  • Stones or pebbles
  • Potting soil
  • Seeds or starter plants
  • Materials to make a plant support such as bamboo sticks
  • Garden gloves

Instructions:

  1. Drill or poke some holes in the bottom of bucket
  2. Put a layer of small stones or pebbles in the bottom of the container for drainage
  3. Fill with potting soil
  4. Insert seeds or starter plants in container
  5. Place in a sunny spot
  6. Keep watered
  7. If planting a vine plant like cucumbers, create a tee-pee shaped tripod out of 3 sticks by tying them together at the top and insert tripod into the container

Day 5: Watch your Garden Grow 

Grab your nature journal (you can use any notebook, or learn how to make one HERE) and start keeping a garden log. What is growing? How much did it grow this week? Did the squirrels dig up your seeds? What bugs can you find in your garden? You can even keep a log of weather, rainfall, and how often and when you water your garden. Once the season is in full swing you can make notes about yield and if you like the variety you planted. 

Materials:

  • Your garden
  • Nature Journal
  • Pencil, colored pencil, crayon or pen
  • Ruler