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Gardening with Kids

So, You Want to Garden With Your Children

By Chris Jordan

My kindergartner brought home seeds from school to grow carrots.

And thus my how-to guide for successfully growing carrots with young children was born. It is important to note that I use the terms successful, grow, and even carrots loosely.

Follow along while I take you through the 36 easy steps.

1: Purchase bag of soil to plant seeds.

2: Return home and realize there is nothing in which to put the soil.

3: Place bag of soil on back patio

4: A week later realize someone has used bag of soil for target practice and the soil is now spilling out of the bag all over patio

5: Go to store specifically to buy pots of some kind.  No list necessary, I am only buying pots.

6: Spend $250 at Target.  Realize upon returning home that pots was not one of the items purchased.

7: Take comfort in newly purchased sheets, serving platter, and clearance priced party invitations.

8: No, not planning a  party any time soon

9: Go to gardening store, buy the tiny little cardboard pot plant starter things. Yes, that is what I called them when I asked the salesperson for help. I think it is the official product name.

10: Also purchase adorable small cobalt blue watering can. Imagine impeccably dressed children gently and joyfully watering seedlings. I can just picture the photos already!   Gardening will be fun!  I love gardening!

11: Bring purchases home and set them on back patio next to the torn bag of potting soil that is now half empty

12: Search for tiny seed packet

13: Three days later locate tiny seed packet inside a sneaker at the bottom of the shoe basket. Smack self on forehead with palm of hand, Of course, why WOULDN’T it be there?

14: Bring six and seven year olds outside to back patio to begun the fun of planting carrot seeds. This is going to be so much fun. This is going to be the Disney World of planting seeds, that’s how much fun it will be.

15: Fill as many little pots as possible with the remaining one-third bag of soil.

16: Tell children to put a single seed into each pot

17: Realize children misunderstood, they think I said, “Argue over who is going to use which pots and elbow your sibling. Also scream really loudly while doing it.”

18: Instruct children to fill adorable cobalt blue watering can and water seeds

19: Again realize children misunderstood, they think I said, “Race your sibling to the watering can and when you don’t win that race, run to the hose, hold it over your head and refuse to share. Squirt your sibling in the face with water if you have to in order to make your sibling see your point of view.”

20: Soaking wet children work out the water arrangement and begin enthusiastically watering seeds.

21: This is shaping up to look nothing AT ALL like those photos I imagined

22: Realize we will now be growing seeds hydroponically. If the seeds have not been washed away in the stream of soil. IF

23: Move cardboard plant starter thingy onto patio table so that it can get some sunshine.

24: Congratulate self on successfully planting carrot seeds. Imagine child going back to his kindergarten teacher and telling her that he planted his seeds.

25: Bask in the glow of feeling like a good mother.

26: Kids drown water seeds soil every afternoon. For a week. Then promptly forget about them.

27: So do I. Until huge windstorm comes through one evening and I wake up the next morning to see the tiny little cardboard pot plant starter thingy upside down and in pieces on the patio.

28: Adorable cobalt blue watering can is now dented in on one side and some of the paint is scraped off. It still works, however. I tell myself it is shabby chic.

29 I do the only thing I can. I scoop up all of the dirt with my hands and put it back into the pots, hoping that some of the seeds made it back in. No one is any wiser.

30: Kids remember to water the seeds dirt periodically.

31: Shabby Chic cobalt blue watering can has gone missing. Kids now use the hose. With the nozzle set to jet.

32: Tiny little cardboard pot plant starter thingy has almost successfully been cleaned out of all soil.

33: Kids are beginning to feel bad that nothing is growing in the now empty pots. I feel bad that they were cursed with a mother who lacks any sort of gardening/ plant keeping alive skills.

34: Thank God keeping plants alive was not a prerequisite for having children

35: I am in garden store and I spot already growing seedlings.

36:  Hmmmmm

“Mommy, mommy! My carrot plants are growing tomatoes! Wait until I tell my teacher!”

I can hardly wait.

Published April 29, 2011. Last updated June 25, 2018.
Chris Jordan
About the Author

Chris Jordan

Chris Jordan began blogging at Notes From the Trenches in 2004 where she writes about her life raising her children in Austin, Texas.

Oh, she has seven of them. Yes, children. Yes, the...

Chris Jordan began blogging at Notes From the Trenches in 2004 where she writes about her life raising her children in Austin, Texas.

Oh, she has seven of them. Yes, children.
Yes, they are all hers.
No she’s not Catholic or Mormon. Though she wouldn’t mind having a sister-wife because holy hell the laundry never stops.
Yes, she finally figured out what causes it. That’s why her youngest is almost 6.
Yes, she has a television.

She enjoys referring to herself in the third person.

If you would like to submit a question for Chris to answer publicly, please do so to adviceforparentsoftweens[at]gmail[dot]com.

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