Kids in the garden
When Joe and Jessie were little, my Mother's Day gift was the same each year: six tomato plants and the time to plant them.
Gardening was something I did on my time off from mothering, but it doesn't have to be that way. You can get your kids started early, and you don't need much more than a couple of large pots on a deck or patio.
Now is the time to plant lettuce or spinach seeds in one of those pots. Even little hands can sprinkle the seeds, with your help. If you are planting lettuces, choose a colorful mesclun variety. They produce a gourmet salad in a pretty short time.
As greens grow, you and the children can thin the seedlings and then harvest the tender leaves. Leave the plant and its roots in place and it will sprout new leaves for another harvest, something that I bet will amaze the kids.
Strawberries are another kid-friendly crop, and you can plant those now as well. They make nice ground cover if you have a spot for them in one of your beds.
When Mother's Day rolls around and it is time for those tomatoes, you can use large deck pots again, this time to plant a couple of cherry tomato plants. These tomatoes come in wonderful shapes and colors and are just the right size for little hands to pick and pop in the mouth.
I have this idea that my children will remember that their mother gardened. How much better for yours if they actually do it with you.
Let's hear your "kids in the garden stories. To get you talking, we have a contest. A winner will be chosen at random from those who comment to score a copy of Grow It, Cook It: Simple gardening projects and delicious recipes. It is perfect for gardening kids and their gardening parents.
The catch? You've got to enter your e-mail address when you comment so I can contact you afterwards, but rest assured that we will not publish your e-mail address. That's between you and me.
Tomato photo courtesy of Park Seeds.