Planning the Family Garden Together

Our child's garden tools have sturdy wood handles and durable, colorfully painted steel implements. At our store in Kidron and

Our child’s garden tools have sturdy wood handles and durable, colorfully painted steel implements. At our store in Kidron and

Gardening is a rewarding hobby that can help you eat fresh healthy foods. But we need to be realistic – gardening is hard work: cultivating, planting, weeding, spreading compost, watering. So when you plan your garden, plant the foods you enjoy eating. This was a hard lesson I learned when I planted my first adult garden off on my own. I planted all the foods my parents had grown. Hard work and food I didn’t like to eat later. Needless to say, I made major changes the following years.

Changes were made again when my family came along. Children like gardening more when they like to eat the foods they help raise. It is important to supply them with quality tools that are their size and not to over-anticipate their attention spans.

Golden Bantam Sweet Corn Seeds

Golden Bantam Heirloom Sweet Corn – seeds in our store in Kidron and

These are our basics; yours will be foods your family enjoys.

• Potatoes – Yukon Gold
• Cabbage –Napa, Red, Solid white
• Cucumbers
• Corn – Butter & Sugar bicolor
• Beets – Bull’s Blood
• Tomatoes – Heirlooms and cherry
• Peppers – bell and hot
Broccoli and cauliflower
• Bush beans- Blue Lake
• Snow peas
• Eggplant
• Squash – yellow, zucchini, and butternut
• Onions – yellow and red
• Herbs- thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley, chives, basil and mints
• Lettuce – Butter crunch and Red oak
Swiss Chard
• Asparagus
• Watermelon – Sugar Baby

Amish Muskmelon (Cantaloupe) Seeds at our store in Kidron and

Amish Muskmelon (Cantaloupe) Seeds at our store in Kidron and

There are variations to what will end up in the final plan, but this is where we start. This may seem like a lot, but you do not need to plant a hundred plants of each – five or six, or even two or three will work for many of them. We donate our extra produce to the local food pantry; they love distributing extra squash, tomatoes or beans.

Find more tools for planning your garden here.

American Gardens: Buckeye Garden Nears Harvest

Tough Cherry Tomatoes survived well. They're in the front bucket.

Tough Cherry Tomatoes survived well. They’re in the front bucket.

American Gardener Tim sent us tons of new pictures–we’re saving the “how to build a raised bed” for the planning days of wintertime.

Right now, let’s take a look at how his gardens are growing. He’s managing two–one small one in the suburban home where his family now lives, and one on land he and his wife will retire to in a few years. There are photos in the gallery below.

“Things are growing so fast now, and I’m just trying to keep up,” Tim says. “Thanks, Lehman’s, for sending me seeds to grow. I had a fail on the cukes, with that late cold snap. And squirrels kept digging up the carrot starts in the suburban garden.”

“I’ll tell you what, though. Those Black Cherry tomatoes are seriously hardy. I wasn’t able to get water to all my tomatoes for about four days recently. But look at that picture! The front barrel are all the Black Cherries. The rest–well, they aren’t. I know for sure I’m coming back to Lehman’s for tomato seeds next year!” Continue reading

American Gardens: Southern Harvest Starts Up

Our Lazy Housewife beans! We're eating some fresh, putting some up. Thanks, Lehman's!

Our Lazy Housewife beans! We’re eating some fresh, putting some up. Thanks, Lehman’s!

The garden is doing great, and I’m starting to harvest lots of goodies!  Since I’m furthest south, I’m thinking the first American Gardener to harvest.

The Lazy Housewife beans have done really well, despite the June Bugs and Mexican Bean beetles (which I’ve had to really stay on top of this year). I love that the beans can be cooked as green beans, or canned (which I’ve done a lot of!), or you can let them get larger and dry out for shelling beans.  Continue reading

American Gardens: Ohio Gardener Plants His Way to Independence

Ohio’s American Gardener Tim has been busy–there’s the garden at the house, and then there’s the “Buckeye Garden” he’s planted at the land he and his partner have purchased for their eventual off-grid retirement place. The soil there hasn’t ever been farmed, so he’s looking for some good garden results. He’s put some of his Lehman’s seeds in, but the overall garden contains just about any crop an off-gridder would want. Check it out.

Continue reading

American Gardens: Mountain Garden GROWS!

Radish and carrot plants.

Radishes and heirloom Dragon Carrots from Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio, growing thick and fast!

In the foothills of the mountains, between the borders of North Carolina and Tennesee, there’s a nifty little microclimate. In that area, our gardener Kendra is having some great results! She’s sent two updates, one from mid-May, and one from the end of the month.

May 13, 2014:

The radishes and carrots were growing thick, so I harvested the radishes a few days ago to make room for the carrots to grow.

The lettuce is looking gorgeous. I haven’t harvested any yet, but I expect to be able to in the next few days.

Lazy Housewife beans thrive! Heirloom seeds were provided by Lehman's.

Lazy Housewife beans thrive! Heirloom seeds were provided by Lehman’s.

The tomatoes are loving this hot weather, and are looking lovely.

On April 24th I planted the beans. They’re about six or seven inches tall now.

On May 6th I planted the cucumbers, which I’m still waiting on to sprout. So far no problems with pests yet. Keeping my fingers crossed! Continue reading