For the first time in my desert gardening adventure, I’m going to be attempting a crop over the summer. Our scorching days not being particularly friendly to most plants, I’ve avoided the summer so far – but this year, we’re going to be planting sweet potatoes! I’ll have to take another picture of the slips I started soon, because they’re really starting to take off, especially the purple potatoes, which have the most beautiful red-veined leaves.
Anyway, to grow sweet potatoes we needed to seriously amend our soil, because the native soil where we live is the kind of clay you can build with – dense, compacted, hard, and thick: pretty much the opposite of what root vegetables need! So we spent Saturday mixing in two huge sacks full of compost from a local farm into our raised bed, and the boys, particularly Rondel, had a wonderful time exploring the dirt and helping with the work.
He was so focused and engaged with the task at hand! He first helped me water the mint and oregano, which we had to transplant to the trench garden from the raised bed to make room for the sweet potatoes, and the continued to water the dirt in the raised bed as we mixed in the compost. We had the kiddie pool filled up in case anyone needed to cool off, since Saturday was pretty warm, and it provided Rondel with a way to fill up the watering can on his own.
In addition to wanting to help with the tasks of preparing the garden, Rondel couldn’t resist sticking his hands in the dirt and discovering what it felt like at various stages of wetness, from completely dry all the way to soggy mud.
The garden has always been his happy place, where he pushes his sensory boundaries and lets his imagination run wild, and I absolutely love seeing him get dirty and sweaty and so incredibly captivated by natural things. This is our little piece of nature in the midst of the city, and something about it speaks to his heart.
Limerick also wanted to use the watering can, once Rondel put it down, and after a while he kind of got the hang of it – but at first he just turned it upside down like a bucket:
Aside from the watering can diversion, however, Limerick was not thrilled about our family time in the garden. He was tired and hungry and generally grumpy, and constantly demanded bubbles.
And it’s so hard to say no to him because I always wonder if I’m just saying no because of my own selfishness and laziness instead of for a legitimate reason, and because he sometimes gets very fixated on things and has a lot of trouble moving on to something else when I say no. It’s hard not to pull out the bubbles when your baby is crying for them and it’s not a difficult activity to share with him – but on the other hand, I don’t want him to think that he can get whatever he wants by crying for it. Right now I’m trying to be firm with boundaries that I care more about and just caving on the bubbles… I do love bubbles myself anyways…
Head on over to the linkup at Like Mother, Like Daughter today to share some more everyday joy and contentment!