One of the most important points of having each boy grow his own garden is to teach him that regular maintenance – tending to, or caring for – is necessary to make a garden grow successfully. How many situations can they apply this simple lesson to throughout their lives? Tend to your garden.

Granted, some responsibilities are not a lot of fun. Weeding, for example, often makes Jude whine – “Oooh, my growing boys…” (as if to curse this project) – and Rex tries to disappear completely. He eventually returns because he cares and doesn’t want weeds to choke his beloved plants. Morris is always, all in. He says, “Okay,” and gets to work, asking which plant is the weed, and which plant is the vegetable before he pulls.


Jude helped pull his cat Minnie out of the garden as we weeded; Minnie likes to lounge on the plants.

Watering the garden starts with enthusiasm as the boys get to hold the sprayer. This may or may not lead to a water fight. It depends on which boy has it and how ornery he feels that morning. We’ve set up a rotation:

Monday and Thursday: Rex

Tuesday and Friday: Jude

Wednesday and Saturday: Morris

Sunday: Mom or Dad

As the summer wears on, the boys are less enthusiastic about doing some of these “chores,” but they see the rewards when the cucumbers are dangling, and the green beans can be picked and chomped as they weed and water.


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