Five ways to make planting fun
Planting the garden has never been one of my favorite activities. But a few weeks ago, on a warm spring day, it was time to get most of our seeds in the ground. We were all itching to get outside in the sun, and instead of a dreaded chore, planting the garden turned into a fun afternoon — for kids and adults alike. Here are five things that made it more fun:
- A plan. Before we put anything in the ground, Lee had a plan for which seeds would go in each spot. Okra and onions on the high side that doesn’t get as much water; tomatoes on the lower side where the ground stays wetter, corn, beans and squash somewhere in the middle. Having a plan helped the planting go smoothly.
- A crowd. What they say is true: The more, the merrier. My good friend Jamie was in town for a visit and eager to help (or so she made us believe), Lee and the kids were ready to get outside, and my dad came over with his tractor to help out. With all six of us in the garden, taking turns with different jobs, the potential backbreaking work of planting was a little more like a party. Next year maybe we’ll invite the neighbors.
- Snacks. It’s not a party without something to eat and drink. The lemonade flowed freely and popsicles were available when the job was done.
- Fancy footwork. Every job goes faster with teamwork, and we developed a system that allowed the kids to get involved and get a little exercise too. As Lee dropped the seeds in along the rows, Big Boy and I would follow behind him in our bare feet, covering the seeds and tamping down the soil. At times it was a race, a dance, a simple exercise in getting dirty. But it got the job done.
- A laidback attitude. When a three-year-old, a five-year-old, and lots of dirt and seeds get together, something unplanned is bound to happen. Our most unexpected incident was when Little Boy dumped an entire bag of corn seeds into the back of a utility trailer parked near the garden. Getting annoyed is tempting, but that could have ruined the afternoon. So we all jumped in the trailer, picked up the seeds, and filled an empty lemonade cup with them. The corn got planted just the same.
What are your tricks for making planting more fun?