Friday, May 16, 2014

Kiddie Pool Garden

Let's face it, not everyone has a wonderful yard. I certainly don't! We have a paved yard that has barely any grass around it, but we make due with what we have. My kids don't mind the pavement, despite falling and tearing up their knees all the time. 

We have two slides, a sandbox, sand table, picnic table, trampoline and play house. We also have a blue kiddie pool that the kids are too big for now. I knew I wanted to create a little garden in it when they outgrew it, so now was the perfect time! Because the cold seems to have finally left New England...

I literally have to sweep the yard daily to keep it clear because the entire yard is shadowed by trees that weep pollen. But the kids enjoy helping! (And luckily none of us are allergic to pollen!)

We found these gardening tools at Target for a dollar each in the bargain bins! I bought a set for each of the kids so they could have their own. 

It was a rainy day, so we started in-between the showers. I pulled out the blue kiddie pool and explained to the kids what we would be doing. This will be the perfect opportunity for them to watch plants grow that they planted!

You will want to add holes to the bottom and sides near the bottom to let water drain out. And it will be much harder to add the holes once the soil is in the kiddie pool, so put the holes in first! Holes roughly 1/4" wide works perfectly and I spaced them a few inches apart.

I showed them the soil we'd be using that I bought at a local grocery store. Just regular manure and potting soil. It's typically the combination I use for small gardens like this.

The kids had a blast filling the kiddie pool with the manure and soil! I helped out as well.

Eventually Munchkin ran off to play. That just left me and Bean and she was so engrossed in gardening that she decided she had to climb into the pool and get her feet dirty in the soil. I definitely told her what manure was, but she didn't care.

She kept adding soil until we reached the bottom line of the pool. We used half manure, half potting soil.

Munchkin had found a lump of soil in the bag, so he ran around with it for a while.

He then discovered that he could break up clumps of soil with the gardening rake! Bean's response was, "well, of course you can!"

And then she declared herself a "garden chef", because she used the shovel like a knife to chop up the clumps in the soil.

Then we planted the seeds. Bean wanted to plant them, so I showed her how. She poked her fingers into the soil and dropped in the seeds. We used mostly herb seeds and a few spinach seeds. We wanted to plant an "edible forest" that they could use as a small world for playing, while still growing some herbs they could munch on and use for cooking. Once the seeds were planted, she added another thin layer of soil and then I had to put it away, otherwise she would have kept adding until the bags were empty! We'll save the other half of the bags for another gardening project!

Then we moved the kiddie pool to the path between our house and the fence. It's basically the only sunny spot we have that doesn't have trees overhead. So it will have to do!

I have high hopes for this small herb garden! I will be sure to share updates!

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