Green Time: Plant a Vegetable Garden

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Yes, here we are planting seeds with our winter coats on. Hopefully from here on out April feels like April, not January! Needless to say, we were eager to turn to this month’s Green Time from Ranger Rick Jr. without waiting for the weather to cooperate!

Ideally, you’ll have a plot of land in which you can truly plant vegetable seeds. Those of you who have followed this blog for a long time know that we used to only have a balcony, and how excited I was when we graduated to a patio with access to a small patch of grass. We still have no true yard, so our “garden” for this project is in a shoebox… which means likely our plants will crowd one another and not grow very tall. Still, I wanted Travis simply to enjoy fresh air and the tactile feeling of dirt and seeds, even if we don’t end up with edible veggies. If you have a real garden, please share your results in the comments!

So, back to our shoebox garden… First we needed to buy seeds. We headed to the garden store for one pack each of the magazine’s suggestions: tomatoes, beans, carrots, zucchini, and peas.

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The first novelty for Travis was seeing the difference in size – pea seeds much bigger than tomato ones, for example.

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Even mommy didn’t know what carrot seeds looked like!

We filled our shoebox with a nice layer of soil.

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Next, we carefully dug a small hole for each veggie and placed two or three seeds in each hole.

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Travis loved the planting, and patting the dirt back over the holes.

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A little bit of water (which we’ll do each morning), and now we wait!

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Travis had so much fun with it that I let him play indoors with the leftover bean seeds with his shovel and some old flower pots.

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I’ll update this post if our veggies manage to sprout in their shoebox conditions!

Update: We have veggies! Travis is thrilled when we go out each morning now to water the plants, all of which our coming up – tiny zucchini leaves, tiny carrot tops, little bean curls… Exciting!

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Splashy Birdbath

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We’re always hoping to attract birds to the yard, whether with bird feeders or a birdhouse constructed recently at a Home Depot workshop. So we loved this idea from our April Ranger Rick Jr.!

To make the birdbath, you need a clay pot and saucer from the craft store. Lay down old newspapers to cover your work surface and set up some paints – I like making Travis a “palette” on wax paper these days, so he can choose from multiple colors.

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He loved painting the clay base in gold the best!

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Meanwhile, we added simple stripes to the pot, which will be the bottom of the birdbath. But get as creative and decorative as you like, adding patterns or dots.

Leave the pot upside down to dry. Paint the bottom of the saucer as well, and position on top of the pot – this paint will actually help the two pieces fuse together as it dries.

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We waited out a couple rainy days, then headed out on a sunny morning to find the perfect spot for the birdbath.

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Travis proudly added a small layer of water, and we added a decorative stone and shell.

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Can’t wait to see what visitors we attract!