Hello all! My family has started some great garden and home projects to go along with our Urban Vegetable Garden: Little Gnome gets some new plants for his garden, we get to start on some recycling bins, and of course not to forget that we get to start on a Fairy House! So much fun will be following! I’m going to try to make these into tutorials and show how I try to incorporate Raylend to our activities!
Ill first start with our potato planters! They are the large blue planters in the picture above. I was able to purchase these plastic 21-inch planters at Home Depot for $10 each. They seem pretty sturdy and thought they would be perfect for this project.
I had a bag of red potatoes sitting on my counter and they started sprouting some eyes which was the inspiration of this project. Potatoes are relatively easy to grow except for digging them up at the end of the season. That is why I set out to find some decently prices planters. These planters are very simple to set up and do not require much equipment at all! All you will need is your planters, some seed potatoes(which came off of my counter), and a couple bags of soil. You DO NOT need to fill up the planter right away. You will be adding soil to the planter gradually when the potato plant sprouts it’s head. This will take time so you can buy the soil as you need it.
Preparing the soil:
when prepping the planter you will only need about 5 or 6 inches of soil in the bottom of the planter to start off with. I had some organic fertilizer on hand so I mixed some in according to the package directions. Raylend LOVED being able to fill up the planters with the soil. Once you have the soil in the planters place the potatoes inside and cover them up and VIOLA! you have potato planters in action! Now all that is left to do is water the plants so that the soil is moist. Once the potato plant has broken the surface of the soil add more soil on top and rewater. Repeat this process until the planter is full. Adding the soil on top gives the plant’s tubers a deeper place to start more potatoes. if you intend on using fertilizer follow the packages directions. In about 10-12 weeks you’re potatoes should be decently sized and ready to harvest. A tale-tell sign that your potatoes are ready for harvest is that the plant itself will start to die and wither away. This is completely normal for the end of the season and the potatoes should be harvested shortly thereafter to prevent the potatoes from rotting.
My little gnome helper also got some new additions for his garden! My goal is to fill the corner next to my garden with planters and containers to hold flowers and herbs that will belong to Raylend. He is the primary caretaker of this part of the garden. The reasoning behind that is because he is always so eager to help me tend to the vegetable garden but would frequently step and hurt the plants since they were in the ground. So, to remedy that I gave him his own area to take care of. He loves to look and pick flowers we well as watching birds. So in his garden he has a bird feeder, planters full of flowers and herbs, and this week we are working on a bird/fairy house and some new plants.
Raylend absolutely loves to help me transplant all of the plants. My little gnome gets very invested in caring for the plants. He frequently talks to them too and it’s probably one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. He will walk straight up to the plants and say, “You’re so pretty”, and it makes my heart melt! He will help me fill all of the planters and then he will water all of the plants soon there after. We arranged them in a corner of the yard that way they were near my garden, but that way it would still be his personal space that we could spruce up. We will eventually decorate with cement steps, garden tool space, and some other small things to make it more colorful.
We also started some recycling bins for the backyard. For anyone who knows me they would easily tell you that I’m very picky. I’ve been putting a lot of work into our backyard lately so I wanted some bins that were pleasing to the eye as well as color coded that way Raylend could differentiate between the bins. I went to Home Depot and bought some wooded crates. Any size will do the job but I didn’t want the crates to large, because frankly my backyard isn’t very large. Home Depot considered these crates “large wooden crates” and they seemed to work just fine. I know I’m going to be keeping these crates outdoors, so I got 8 oz Berh indoor/outdoor paint samples in the colors of my choice! The crates ended up being about $12 each and the 8 oz paint samples were about $3.50 each. I loved that Home Depot could mix the samples on the spot, so the color pallet is completely customizable.
Raylend was able to help me with all of the painting. This was a great opportunity to work on taking turns. He was so overzealous he wanted to paint everything himself. Though I love his enthusiasm, he had gotten so excited that he was getting all kinds of paint on the floor.
I would let Raylend paint the outside of the crate with the long wood boards, but I had to clean up and do all of the detail work myself. He seemed most excited about the paint itself. He really had no favorite color just that he wanted to paint the boards. I stripped him of all of his clothes so that way they weren’t ruined ,but hey, getting dirty and having fun is the whole point of gardening and doing projects. There is always time at the end of the day to take a bath, and if you don’t get to it oh well! He is a kid and he’s going to get dirty as soon as he gets a chance anyways. One thing Raylend didn’t like was getting the paint on his legs. The good thing is a warm bath and a little scrubbing will take it right off.
I really loved the way they turned out! they should hold up to weathering well since I chose an outdoor paint base. The colors are bright and easily distinguishable, which is what I was wanting so that Raylend can identify the different bins. The bright colors really liven up the back yard. My backyard is pretty much dirt right now, and I’m in the process of TRYING to grow grass without much avail… But I liked that this entire weekend was spent in the back yard. I really wanted to tidy up the space that I spend so much time in. My son loved to be able to be a part of our activities, and I loved that I got to spend some extra time with him. I really did try to choose projects that I would be proud of. I felt like they would beautify the space, and be usable for at least a couple years.