Ethan’s Garden

by Penny Howard

Ethan's Garden - pulling weeds

Children’s Gardens

A couple of days ago, my middle grandson came to me and started talking about growing a garden.  He was telling me about a small space in his backyard and wanted to know if it would be good for a garden.  Since it is very narrow and between a shed and the fence, we decided it probably wouldn’t be good.  It won’t get enough light.  So, we began to talk about other places in his yard that would work for him to grow some things. 

A Grandmother’s Delight

I was almost giddy as we talked about vegetables and flowers that he might want to try to grow.  We got the seed catalog out, went through some vegetables, and then got to the flowers.  Admittedly, flowers are not my strong suit when it comes to growing things.  I grow mostly vegetables and don’t have a lot of experience with flowers. Many of the flowers in the seed catalog were unknown to me.  But if he wants to grow flowers, we will grow flowers. 

As we looked at the catalog, we talked about growing flowers and vegetables together.  Many flowers help vegetables by discouraging pests or encouraging beneficial insects to visit the plants.  He listened intently. He asked about when we could plant things and if things like cabbage would be good to grow. He also talked about how his other grandmother grows tomatoes and peppers and makes salsa.  He said he might grow some peppers and tomatoes and ask Grandma to help him make some salsa.   

The Winning Garden

Ethan's Garden, the winning garden

We have a book called The Winning Garden, by Leann Smith. It is about a group of children who enter a gardening contest and grow a garden.  The book includes some seeds to start a garden. Ethan and I read the story and talked about some of the things they planted.  It was such fun!

The Planning Continues

Ethan and I talked the next day again about his garden. There is an old flower bed in front of his house that we can use for some plantings.  It is on the north side of the house, so we will have to take light into consideration for our plants. We discussed planting some of the seeds in the greenhouse so that when it was time to plant in his yard, the plants would already be growing.  Planting earlier will help the plants make flowers and vegetables sooner.  We made plans for the next time he is at our house. We will choose a few flower seeds from our seedboxes and start them.

We still need to make some decisions about what else he wants to grow. And we need to look at the flower bed he wants to use.  There is a lot of work ahead, but I am so excited that he is interested and wants to do this! It makes this grandmother’s heart happy!

Get Everyone Involved

ethan's garden - picking cukes

So, talk to your children and grandchildren about gardening and growing. Find some seeds at the store, online from a seed company, from the Sow & Grow Seed Library at Mahon Library and soon to be at Groves Library, or from friends.  Just get some seeds and grow something with your little ones!

Lubbock Master Gardener Association has plans for some children’s seed starting classes coming this spring.  Stay tuned for more information.

Links and Resources

For more information about organic gardening, lifestyles, and living, visit our website at West Texas Organic Gardening.

If you found the information here helpful, you might also find these articles on our website of interest.

The Worst Diet in the World


Starting Your Garden

If you have more specific questions or problems, you can contact us using the contact form on our website. You can also post your question to our community forum at this page; West Texas Organic Gardening Community Forum.

We have a Facebook page and love your comments, questions, or input. You can find us on Facebook using this tag. @westtexasorganicgardening

Check on Amazon for ideas for children’s gardens.