Kids and Gardening-Oh My!

My garden is so neglected. I’m a stay home mom trying to write a novel and pump life into a fairly large garden. It’s impossible. Every year I tell myself I’m going to get ahead of the game and be prepared for planting, weeding, erecting supports, throwing down straw, getting my defenses ready for pest control, and every year the ball drops somewhere.

My house is a mess, the sink is overflowing with dishes. It’s a pretty day and I need to be in the garden. BUT……

Right now I have twelve tomato plants still in starter pots already flowering and sprouting fruit. They need room to stretch out. That’s not to mention the pepper plants, eggplant, herbs galore, dozens of seeds (squash, melons, cucumbers, beans, to name a few) that need to go in. Also, I designed a second raised bed for the outside of the garden.

Where is the time? 

I have three children ranging from two to seven years old. They like to “help” me in the garden and I let them, but my shoulders tense up and I cringe as they step anywhere they want and seeds I place in their tiny hands end up scattered in the wrong places. I smile through and fix as much as I can when they turn their attention to something else. Kids and the garden are hard. They want my attention all the time and I want them to see the benefits of having a garden. Actually, I want them to see how much pride I take in the garden. Maybe one day they will have a plot too. I know it’s from my parents that gardening became so important to me.

Dirty knees, grim under the nails, trying to squeeze in all the veggies and fruit I want in a small space is like playing Tetris or Suduko. Everything has to fit just right. Watching my garden go from dirt to a jungle in a few short weeks brings me so much joy.

That said, I’m here to tell you I’m tired. I would love a few hours by myself to get the garden to a place I can start to maintain it rather than build it. I’ve had to cancel plans this weekend just so I can get to the point where I can get things in the ground.

Oneday the kids will be older and more helpful. Until then, I’ll need to be okay with a lazy crazy garden that gets done when it gets done.


  1. I know this phase well. Mine used to love “helping” at the allotment when they were younger. We got them a sandpit and their own tools to dig around and they would occasionally help with seed planting. Try and make the most of it. Before you know it they’ll find it “lame”- although attitudes soon change when it comes to picking fresh raspberries and strawberries!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can relate to your time dilemma for sure. When my kiddos were little and our garden was huge (1/2 acre), we would have them plant the potatoes. We would dig the holes, give them a sack of seed potatoes each; they would drop one in, eye up, spit on it, and then cover it. I know it sounds gross, but it didn’t hurt anything, kept them busy for hours, and made them part of the process. They still fondly remember this – all the drinks from the hose and the older sibling checking the eyes were up. They would lay in the shade and nap all afternoon after a morning of planting, giving me more time in the garden. If I’d been writing then, I might have used the time for that! Treasure the times they are young! Make memories whenever you can.


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