Dick: “Momma, petty. . petty” (as he lovingly pointed at my lavender plant)
Me: “Yes sweetie, they are pretty”
Dick: “Me? Me?”
Me: “Yes, you may pick one. . but just one. Don’t they smell nice?”
The next thing that happened is the motive behind today’s post. As my adorable two year old boy attempted to “pick” a single lavender flower from the cluster of purple he mistakenly grabbed the entire bush and ripped the whole thing out of the ground. I would love to say that this was a single offense, but unfortunately I can’t. We just lost a fruit bearing strawberry plant to his mighty grip not 10 days ago. Sooo. . Instead of banning my sweet little boy from enjoying my garden that he loves so dearly I decided to build him his very own garden to tend to (and to pick the petty fowers from).
While this decision may not have come from the best motives, I am glad that I went with it. Building a children’s garden has been a blessing for both me and my kids. My daughter Jane has been excited about this project since the suggestion first came up. She right away begged me to take her to the store to gather supplies. She enthusiastically picked out each flower and vegetable plant that she wanted to go in their garden and was quite exact with where she wanted them to be planted. With doing so she unintentionally taught herself each plant and veggie name by plant recognition. (wow) My son was just happy to have flowers of his own and even helped dig many of the holes. I was pleasantly surprised that this garden has given my kids a sense of accomplishment and pride. It has also given them a sense of responsibility and a material of bonding. When they are working on the garden, watering the garden or looking for worms to feed the garden they aren’t fighting. . they are working together and as a mother I couldn’t ask for more!
Now speaking of worms. . . While we were tilling up the land to start the garden we were amazed at how many worms we found. At first my husband was using the worms as a weapon and playfully chasing the kids around with them, but after a while the kids started picking up the worms and naming them. Oh no. . here we go, another pet. My daughter has one of those little bug catcher houses that she fills with “pets” of all kinds each day. She lovingly names them and puts them on the porch each night to keep when she goes to bed (mean mommy wont let her take them inside). Each night, after she has headed in, I carefully release her pets back into the yard so they can live out the rest of their buggy lives, and the cycle continues. . . So where am I going with this? I have a point, I promise. . .
So while we were catching all the worms a light bulb went off in my head. We decided that we would build a worm tower to feed the worms and keep them all happily living in her new garden so she could visit them whenever she wanted. Wow. . win/win right? Jane gets to care for her “pets” and the garden gets naturally fertilized. Were happy.
Building a worm tower is actually quite easy. All you need is a piece of pvc pipe, a drill and something to cover to top (like a rock or pot). First cut the pvc pipe to about 8″ long and drill several 5mm holes all over the tube. Next, dig a hole in your garden and place the pipe within the hole, fill the dirt back around the tower being careful to leave about 1″ above the surface of the soil. Finally, fill the tube with some worms, a little dirt and some kitchen scraps and place a rock or covering over the top of the pvc pipe to keep the rain and animals out. The worms will crawl into the tube to feed and then crawl back out to naturally fertilize your garden! wow, right?
Now. .building this is fine but what do worms eat? That’s easy. . almost anything. Worms like kitchen scraps like lettuce, peppers, egg shells, coffee grounds and a couple handfuls of grass clippings. There are a few things NOT to put in your worm tower however. Do NOT feed them dairy, meat or acidic fruits. These will spoil, stink and they will not eat them.
We hope you have fun raising little worms in your garden along with us! Jane has been diligently feeding and caring for her little ones and gets giddy whenever she sees a worm pop its head up through the dirt. While I may have saved the worms from the fate of the “bug catcher” I can not yet say the same thing for the rolly pollies. One species at a time I guess. . . .
Have a happy week!
<3 Dick and Jane