We’re all spending a lot more time at home these days. At the same time, spring is here and the garden awaits.
Have you thought about sharing the physical and mental health benefits of getting outside and digging in the dirt with your entire family? The experts at soil and compost supplier Cedar Grove have, and their clients have some great ways to combine growing fresh produce and maintaining healthy garden beds with teaching your kids about urban agriculture.
Zsofia Pasztor, the founder of Woodinville-based non-profit Farmer Frog, is a certified horticulturist, arborist and landscape designer with plenty of experience helping build community and family gardens.
“It truly is science-based learning, and that opens the door to interaction with the kids in ways that they love. Planting things is fun and educational,” she says.
Here are a few tips for creating a family vegetable or herb garden:
- Find the right spot – Zsofia recommends having a plan in place before you start. “Don’t just start digging up the yard,” she says. Call 811 first to locate underground utilities, or create raised beds for an easier, more accessible option. For open-bottom raised beds, put a layer of cardboard down, not plastic, to keep weeds at bay.
- Containers work too! – When creating your vegetable or herb garden, Zsofia says, “even five-gallon buckets gathered together will work.” Designate a section of the yard or patio as the garden and have fun watching your plants grow!
- Companion planting – Many plants grow well together, Zsofia says, such as carrots and radishes, which benefit from compost. Tomatoes and carrots “do fabulous together,” she says, as do lettuce, spinach and peas.” Call Cedar Grove at
1-877-764-5748for soil advice.
- Order seeds online – Various Washington seed suppliers are shipping to your home. Check online for a list of options.
- Get creative with your produce – What will you do with your homegrown foods? Find many tasty recipes online that incorporate specific vegetables, fruits and herbs.
Work together on yard maintenance
Seattle landscaper Matt Preston works with homeowners in spring to aerate, thatch and top-dress their lawns as a first step to making it healthier. You can top-dress your lawn yourself, Matt says, using a home delivery of compost or topsoil from Cedar Grove.
- Lawns – Leave grass clippings on and mow more frequently and not so short to create less stress on your lawn. “You’ll require fertilizer and top dressing less often,” Matt says.
- Beds – Healthy beds start from the ground up, he adds. A two-inch mulch mix base keeps the weeds down and nutrients and moisture in. “It can be a big project, but it will do your garden a lot of good and save you time in the long run.”
- Deadheading plants – Pinch off old blossoms to extend the blooming period and avoid the plant going to seed as quickly.
Cedar Grove offers contactless delivery of bulk and bagged soils products. You can order your products online or by phone at 1-877-764-5748! You can follow Cedar Grove on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.