Planting a Garden (when you have never planted one before!)

I can’t keep plants alive.  I can’t even keep the ones alive that don’t need any loving care so when my husband suggested we start a garden this year, I laughed at him.  Even though my first reaction was to laugh, he seemed so excited about doing this together as a family, how was I to say no?  I figured that even if nothing grew, it would be a great family activity. 

How on earth do we get started?  We have never done this before so of course I turned to the Internet for help!  I did some quick research on Burpee Seeds to see what was good to plant right now and I also got some information from this post my sister wrote about planning a garden.  Two weekends ago, we loaded up the car and drove to Lowe’s and picked up a few supplies.  Here is what we left with:

  • 2 2×8’s cut in half
  • four bags of soil
  • one bag of compost
  • seed packets
  • three small plants (two strawberry and one pepper)
  • a couple of pots for flowers and herbs

When we got home, it was time to get to work!  Daddy J built the box with 2 2×8’s cut in half, making the box 4×4.  We filled the box with soil and compost.  For a 4×4 box, we used all four bags of soil and the whole bag of compost.  We probably could have used another bag of soil.  We let the kids map out the garden and plant the seeds under our supervision and with our help. 

Gardening with Kids Hint: When planning a garden with your kids, be sure to purchase a few seedlings to plant.  This will ensure that your children have some plants to keep an eye on when your seeds begin sprouting.

Make sure you take the plant out of the container it came in!

A week later, we couldn’t believe our eyes as all of our plants started to grow.  We have watched with amazement as our seeds turned into plants!  It only took about a week to get to the what is pictured below.  During that week, the kids have watered the garden and kept a close eye on it. 

Gardening with Kids Hint: Buy a couple of cheap spray bottles to fill with water.  This will make it easy for your kids to water the garden without drowning the plants.  It will also extend the amount of time they can spend watering the plants.  My children would water the plants all day if we would let them!

Our plants are doing so well that we actually need to move a few because they are so close to each other! 

We aren’t quite sure what to do next, but we will keep you updated as our garden grows!

Are you an avid gardener?  Have you been thinking about starting a garden but don’t know where to begin?  Leave us a comment with your gardening experience and advice (I need plenty of it!).


  1. After the strawberries are done making little fruits, the plant will start sending off mini plants called runners. Snip these off and plant them (or leave it alone-it will plant itself). These will make more strawberry plants for you next year. And the 2nd year’s harvest will be bigger. Ours were the same size you find at the store (not the giant size- just the medium ones).

    Have fun! Don’t forget to plant herbs like cilantro, parsley, thyme- these are easy to maintain.

  2. I’m no good at gardening, either. That’s why I love getting the kids involved. They always stay positive & learn from their mistakes (more than I would otherwise). In spite of little success with our vegetable plantings last year, we’re at it again! This year we started wild flowers, some of which are already beginning to peek through the soil! Now to get on to the veggie planting …

  3. I am sooo inspired. I told my husband last month a similar garden would be cool, but I was so scared nothing would grow! I planted some peat pellets two weeks ago and only half grew..I was trying for herbs..but I think it was that cold spell.

  4. oh I also suggest moonflowers! They are the only thing I’ve grown with success. They are a climbing vine with HUGE white flowers that open at dusk. Beautiful. They need full sun though and a trellis or fence to grow on (you can use string across a wooden fence).
    They grow fast and when the flower dies, check the pods after a few will find seeds…keep them in a bag in dark spot til next spring and they will grow again when planted. I haven’t bought new moonflower seeds in ten years! I keep planting seeds from year before..soo cool!
    There is also a great chidlren’s book about them too..
    The Moonflower by Peter and Jean Loewer (it’s a story combined with info and science about plants and night animals..great book) Lisa enjoy!!

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