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Challenge: Summer Fun

Gardening with a Toddler

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I've been wanting to grow a vegetable garden for years. There's something so satisfying about growing your own food. Our yard was never really laid out for a garden and our plants always seemed to die. Now that we have a toddler and a new house, it seemed like the perfect time to give it a try.

The first thing I did was make a mental list of the types of fruits and vegetables that we like and can eat a lot of. Then I thought about what our toddler would enjoy helping plant and harvest. From my long list of possibilities, I settled on strawberries, zucchini, tomatoes and blueberries. For the blueberries, we know it will be a few years before it produces berries we can eat, so we will visit our local blueberry farm to practice picking them.

Then, my husband found an interesting tutorial on how to build a self-watering planter box. This sounded perfect in light of our forgetfulness. So, he set out to build one. By the time it was complete, it was the end of May and we decided to get a few planter pots to use as place holders until we are able to build more.

So, we set out to our local gardening store to pick out our plants. Our toddler was thrilled to help us pick out which plants we should put in our cart. He was also excited to ride home in the car with the blueberry bush right next to him.

As soon as we got home, our son wanted to help us plant. He was my husband's right hand as they dumped the potting soil into the pots, mixed in the plant food and shook the dirt from the plants. Our son's favorite part was patting the soils around the plants. He grinned when he and my husband would dust off their hands afterward. He also really enjoyed helping us water the plants and now he insists on doing it all by himself.

We are really looking forward to having our son help us pick strawberries, since they are one of his favorite snacks.

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