When we bought our new house this winter I was worried about what state we might find the garden in when the snow melted. Based on the evidence in the backyard and the owner's comments, it looked like we would be sharing our yard with a very large family of rabbits. But lo and behold not a hint of rabbit presence when we moved in. After we finished building the sandbox, we decided to add a small vegetable garden next to it. My 4-year-old is an outdoorsy sort who loves to garden and eat vegetables. Last summer the first thing he did upon arrival at my parents was rush out into the backyard to pick and eat cherry tomatoes.
Our first step was clearing a small, flat area in the backyard. We chose a spot near the back corner where it would be out-of-the-way of flying balls and scorching sun.
Levelling the spot was half the fun and necessitated many shovels and even work gloves.
We chose to use 2x10 untreated wood to build a frame for our garden. The wood cost less than $15 at Home Depot and we had them cut it there into 2 three-foot and 2 six-foot lengths. We decided to use a frame so that, if we need to, we can add a wire fence around the perimeter if local critters decide to use the kids garden as a salad bar.
The assembly was a simple process: all I needed was a drill and 12 deck screws. It took approximately 10 bags of soil to fill the box: we thought we'd only need 6 but it packs down quite a bit after you water it.
Because we started in mid-June, we used plants instead of seeds to start our garden. The boys chose strawberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, and broccoli to start us off this year.
We now have little green tomatoes growing in the garden and my 4-year old checks on them every day. His favourite part is filling up his watering can at the rain barrel and watering all the plants. A quick tip: rain barrels sell for at least 50% retail cost if you buy them on www.usedottawa.com or www.kijiji.ca.
And so far, not a single rabbit has nibbled on any of our greenery!
Sara is mom to a 4-year-old firefighter and 2-year-old monkey. You can find her at her blog, My Points of View