Unless it’s harvest time, Miss MBaF can take some convincing to join me at the allotment. I don’t tend to drag her there if she’s not keen – it’s really not worth the stress – but yesterday she said she wanted to help me sow the peas, so this morning I gently persuaded her and ….well, OK I dragged her there.
I don’t subject her to time-consuming gardening jobs – as with everything in toddlerdom, it’s all about quick-wins. So, having already dug over and prepared a passable seed bed for the peas (I figure it doesn’t have to be the finest tilth, when the seeds are so big), we got straight into the action.
Seed packets are fiddly, so I put a handful of the dried peas in a little trug and showed Miss MBaF how to put them in a line along each side of the row. And then I left her to it.
The result was patchy, but she’d kept inside the row (apart from the handful she threw goodness-knows-where). I spread the ‘busiest’ areas out a bit when she wasn’t watching, and then we did the same with a short row of mangetout. I raked the soil over the seeds and then Miss MBaF enjoyed collecting water from the trough in her little watering can, and giving them all a good soaking.
While Little Miss was busy with the sowing, I got to work filling up the first of the ‘raised beds’ I’ve added to the plot for her. These are two old car tyres that I found in a pile of discarded furniture and play equipment behind our village school. I thought they would be a great size for her to plant veg or flowers in. Unlike most little people, she’s not that keen on getting too messy, so with these she can stay on her feet and still ‘garden’.
As you can see she’s already decorated one of them, and maybe we’ll get around to doing the second at some point. So far, she’s said she wants to grow carrots, tomatoes, a sunflower and ‘pretty flowers’ in them. There’s not much space, so we won’t manage all of that.
Today we planted some garden centre-grown flowers for another quick win. They might get replaced later in the season, but I thought it might inspire her to see some ‘prettiness’ quickly.
The plan was for her to dig the holes and put the plants in. However, I noticed some red ants running about on the soil, so I did the digging and planting while she got the plants out of their pots and did the watering.
Hopefully, there’ll be lots more toddler-friendly tasks to come this season!