Happy Growing Sprouts

Plants are growing! Seeds are sprouting! These are happy gardens.

It’s summer, and the boys are happy, too!

This week the green beans started unfolding from the dirt. Their stems bend up out of the dirt, but it looks like their heads are still stuck in the mud. The next day we notice they are up and out and looking at the sun.


Morris’s radish seeds started to sprout about two days after they were planted. Their leaves are brood and roundish, whereas carrot sprouts are so tiny and feathery.


The basil, cilantro, and dill seeds that Mo and I planted in very early spring are happy in Rex and my garden. They are starting to get stronger, fuller, taller. I’m looking forward to using them in my cooking.


So far, we’re off to a great start!


Fairy Gardens

Jude and Morris each have a fairy garden this year!

Jude reserved three plots for his house, his pathway, and a slew of new miniatures: two knights, a prince, and two horses.

Morris reserved one plot for his garden, but he’s packed a lot in: a small house, a camper, a well, a frog, three gnomes, and one fairy.

We added flowers to surround their little worlds, and I think this is just the beginning of their imagination.

It’s (Finally) Time to Plant!

May 27: Memorial Day

Hooray! It’s a great day to plant! The sun is shining…for the rest of the day. Some rain is expected tomorrow, and the day after, but there’s supposed to be periods of sunshine in between.

Late last week, I bought 6 cherry tomato plants, 4 early girl tomato plants, 12 cucumber plants(!), two zucchini, 1 Japanese eggplant, 4 chili red peppers, 4 green pepper plants, flowers for the fairy gardens, and many seeds (green beans, peas, radish, carrot, mint, etc.). I’ve learned not to take the boys shopping for plants, as well. (I lose track of what we need, and they just get bored.)

But today is the day! Hooray!

The boys remember to carefully pull their plants from the containers, to pull and loosen the dirt and roots at the bottom of the plants, to dig a deep hole, and push the dirt around the stem of their plants.

Rex plants his cucumber plants, his chili reds, and his tomatoes.


Jude plants all six of his six cucumber plants (!) and one of his cherry tomatoes.


Morris plants his cucumbers, his tomatoes, and his peppers.


I plant everything else for them. We’re alike: we agree that it’s much more fun watching things grow than planting.


*I planted all the seeds about a week later.

Planning and Waiting

May 20

There’s been almost constant rain this spring… It rains for a day or two, it stops for one, and then it rains again. And again. If we’d planted our gardens already, the rain and very intermittent sunshine might be welcome, a healthy start even. Although I’ve talked with gardeners whose tomato plants look water-logged and they think they may have to plant their seeds again. So, we wait.

We’re also waiting for a dry period to get the rest of our compost and soil for the gardens. We got half – a shortage by mistake – and now the other half will be delivered when there’s a day to dry and a dry day to deliver. Ty and I shovel in what we can, when we can.

In the meantime, boys plan their gardens on the paper grids we use every year, along with the square foot gardening website/picture. We did this at the shop one morning (Schuling Hitch Company), as Grandma had jury duty and the boys came to work with me during homeschool time.


This year, I noticed how Morris’s plan has changed so much. Look at the perfectly written and spelled vegetables. He is an excellent writer! He’s looking forward to having chives, like his brothers have in the past. Radishes are an interesting choice for him.


Jude giggled when handed his over. Eight cucumber plants! I knew he loved them, but we’ll see! And, he loves cherry tomatoes. All the boys do.


Rex has taken to abbreviating, and he expects me to read his code (Is this part of being twelve?). We brought a chive plant and a sprig of mint from the gardens at our old home (Remember, we moved last Labor Day.), and he’s really hoping it takes in his new garden.


Building Garden Boxes

May 5 

I’ve learned a few lessons over the seasons. The first, very important one is: Don’t take the boys to Lowes when you buy lumber. They’re fine in the garden center, looking at plants. But if I’m looking at wood, they feel instantly anxious and bored, and they are quick to find mischief to help pass the time. Usually, they play a game of chase through the rows of lumber or ask me so many questions about anything unrelated – a new movie, what we’re doing tonight, etc. –  I can’t think straight. Who can blame them when I’m talking to the workers, pondering about boring things, like which kind of wood should I use, dogwood fir or cedar? What dimensions should our beds be? When can the lumber be cut and picked up? These are the details that torture active boys. So, I did this part on my own: selected dogwood fir, sketched a drawing, ordered wood, picked up cut wood and screws.

And, Ty built the boxes, all four! He started with screwing one foot, 2×4’s together for the corners. Then, he drilled six foot sides and four foot sides into the corners. They’re nice and sturdy! He built all four in a week, drilling away in our garage. He knows how much we love our gardens. Thank you!!!


It All Starts with a Seed

May 1, 2019

Welcome back!

It’s Season 4 of My Growing Boys!

Rex is twelve and in sixth grade. He loves basketball, reading science fiction, playing Legos, his cats, and anything Avengers.

Jude is ten and in fourth grade. He loves math, baseball and basketball, drawing at the kitchen table, playing ga-ga ball, and joking around.

And Morris is seven, coming close to the end of first grade. He loves playing with his brothers (until he doesn’t), playing soccer, riding his bike, climbing trees, and drawing.

All three boys are ever-growing: constantly hungry, chasing each other with swords in and out of the house, challenging each other (competitive, to say the least), imagining with toys or play, learning at home and school, loving family, and staying very, very active.

This season, My Growing Boys are in a new home. We moved last Labor Day, and we have new garden beds to make, and new home we’re still settling into.

But Morris and I get a head start on the season. Morris helped plant some seeds: basil, cilantro, dill, four o’clocks, and black-eyed Susans. We haven’t started plants inside for a few seasons, but we’re anxious for Spring, for playing outside in the yard, for riding scooters and bikes, for taking walks, for wearing shorts, for growing our gardens.

“We Have a Little Garden”

by Beatrix Potter

We have a little garden,

A garden of our own,

And every day we water there

The seeds that we have sown.


We love our little garden,

And tend it with such care.

You will not find a faded leaf

Or blighted blossom there.