Thursday, June 7, 2012

from Sandbox to Planter box

Things are happening in the backyard.
 And all because of this guy:
Two weeks ago Lucy brought home pumpkin seeds from school and we planted them in a small cup.   And they started growing.
And fast!
Who knew they were like weeds??  We had Little Shop of Horrors on our front porch so we transferred them to a small planter box.  And......a few days later they'd taken over that new home as well.

What to do with the pumpkin plants?
Seemed silly to start a garden on behalf of a random plant.  But I've really wanted a garden for years.   There's just nothing like ripe cherry tomatoes from the vine.  Oh yum.

So I called my mom for her expert advice (she and my brother are avid gardeners).  And like many of you probably already know about, she tipped me off to Square Foot Gardening.

Now we just needed a raised bed planter box.
Should we build one?  Where to put it?  The sandbox location was making it difficult.
So we decided to give our little sandbox a second life.  The kids had enjoyed it for over a year and weren't loving it like they used to.   Maybe they'd enjoy taking care of a garden instead?
So we did just that!  (well, Casey did.  I was busy sewing book projects inside).
It just seemed perfect to make good use of this awesome wooden box, with little benches and so much personality.
Casey poured the special soil right over the sand (we tried to get rid of the sand by posting "Free Sand" on craigslist.  But no takers).  We're hoping the sand helps water drain.   He marked off grids for various veggies and herbs with string (btw....we're complete newbies to this and have little clue what we're doing.  But we're having fun experimenting.  I'm sure many of you have years of experience and tips.  So please leave any links to great websites in the comments for us!)
Lucy wrote all the plant names on colorful markers (which she loved....and even journaled about the next day).
Then we planted our plants and seeds (probably too close together. We're learning)
And the waiting game began.
The kids checked in on the plants the next day after church, gave them more water, watched, waited.
I said it would probably take a week for their seeds to sprout, to keep expectations low.  

Then late last night when the kids were in bed we noticed small buds making their way up.
In the morning the whole family came out to check it out.
Almost like Christmas.
  Rows of new little plants!
 I know, our excitement is a bit silly.  But wow.  It works!  Seeds grow.   And our little pumpkin plant has a new home.
Yes, yes.   Mother Nature is impressive.

So, bye bye little sandbox.
Hello to a season of gardening. 

If we only get one tomato out of it, I'll call it a success.

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