I will start by saying that I didn’t grow up in a family that did any gardening and just two summers ago, I began to tinker with gardening in our backyard. I want our girls to know how to garden, but it’s been quite an adventure to learn about our region of the country and what you can plant and when. Unfortunately, I feel like a lot of Internet sites take for granted that you have a basic working knowledge of gardening, which I don’t. Gardening seems to come naturally to many of my friends, and I seem to like the idea of gardening but need more knowledge.
I was very excited to find out that I was going to get to review this gardening kit from Dole. The kit came had 12 peat pots with Quick Soil Mix pellets, 10 individual seed packets, row markers and a “how to” journal with a lot of basic gardening information. I really liked that in each section there was a map of the US with regions and a little difficulty bar showing how easy or hard the seed is to grow.
I read through the journal and we got everything ready for what should have grown in our area at the time the kit arrived. My 5 year old loved getting the peat pots ready and watching the soil expand. Then she placed the seeds in, we labeled the row markers and placed them in our peat pots. After the sprouts had started in our house we moved them out to the new, larger garden my husband had recently built in our backyard.
Then the waiting began and a month later we planted the next round of seeds for our region directly into the soil.
The cucumber plants sprouted really quickly and started to get large so this was exciting for my daughter since she had done the planting.
Here she is looking over everything and telling me which ones have flowers and which ones it looks like the bugs have been eating them.
The latest thing to sprout for us has been the red bell peppers. According to our Dole journal we won’t see any actual vegetables growing until the end of the summer since bell peppers need a lot of sun and heat.
This kit retails for about $20 and I consider it a value. The cost of the seeds alone could come close to that and having the peat pots and “just add water” soil is great fun for the kids. Most of the things we planted in the beginning either did not grow to full size or died. In the reading I have done I found that it was no fault of the product. Our region of the country had an extremely mild winter and the starter things we planted needed it to be much cooler to grow correctly. Currently we have carrots, red bell peppers and cucumbers from the Dole Garden Kit on their way to producing food. In the fall we will plant the remaining seeds for our winter garden, and I expect everything to grow well.
I think the kit is very fun for kids to be a part of because you look for your region, prepare the ground for the peat pots and go. The journal is very clear cut with information on when to plant, the best type of soil, how much water and sun the plant will need and each section has a list of tips for planting. In the back of the journal, there is lots of space for making notes about your garden, recipes, and a neat little garden planning grid that you can write on or make copies of to make your plans on.
A side benefit to this kit is that it gets you and the kids outside more and there is so much you can teach them while using it. We have talked about the sun, the rain, the bugs, the bunnies and everything else that can impact the growth of the garden. With the easy life our kids lead I think it’s also great for them to see that food has to start somewhere, not just be picked up at the store. This kit is a great way to introduce gardening to your family.
Louanne lives in Texas with her awesome husband and two daughters. She loves Jesus, cookies, reading and scrapbooking (when she has time). She homeschools and also runs a mentorship program for at risk children through her church. Louanne also enjoys finding coupon deals, making gifts with her Cricut and Taste of Home cookbooks. Louanne blogs at www.dwimble.com.
Dole Garden Kit Giveaway
This week, five of you Hip Homeschool Moms will win one of these Dole Garden Kits for your family! Ready to enter?