In Part One of our Rookie Guide we laid out the five keys to planning a successful food garden: find a spot with good sunlight, prepare your soil, create paths, build a fence, and set up a system for irrigating. Once you’ve got these fundamentals down, you’re ready to plant. Be sure to enlist your kids (and your neighbors’ kids) in every step of the process. Kids love every part of it — creating furrows for seeds, digging holes for seedlings, loosening their roots before settling them into the earth, patting down the soil around the baby plants, and sprinkling them with water to settle the soil. Remember that gardens are forgiving. If your kids screw anything up—like planting seeds or seedlings too close together—their mistakes are always easy to fix.
What follows is the skinny on planting: supplies, what to plant when, how to space out your crops, and how to make it all look fabulous.
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In the next and final installation of our Rookie Guide, we’ll give you the 411 on tending and harvesting your garden — how to manage pests and weeds, how to stake and fertilize your plants, and when to pick ‘em.