As you might already know, we had the idea to start Plantables while we were on a few quick trips to a big box store with our children.
Now. Two things happened on those trips to the big box stores in spring of 2017. (But we usually only talk about one…)
The one that we put on our website, in press releases and tell people who ask about our business: that we saw rows of sad, unhealthy plants that had very little chance of producing any fruits or veggies whatsoever.
Seeing these poor plants made us realise how difficult it must be for beginner gardeners to start growing their own fruits and vegetables at home, so we thought we’d do something about it.
And that’s all absolutely true. That’s where the idea for Plantables came from.
But there is a second reason, however, that we don’t tell people quite as often: taking kids to the garden centre to buy plants sucks.
It’s no fun at all for anybody involved.
It’s hard work. It’s frustrating. And, even when you’re finished, it’s hardly ever worth the effort.
First of all, you had the constant interruptions of ‘Mummy! Daddy!’ while you’re trying to ask a member of staff to help you find something.
(Which happens a lot. Big box stores are not easy to navigate, are they?)
Then you’ve got the bathroom run relay, the pleas of ‘I want to ride in the cart’ and the guilt of having to say no to the array of bird feeders, goldfish, pretty flowers and chocolate bars that the store has cleverly dotted around at kid’s eye-level.
Once you’ve finally checked out, you realised that you’ve spent double what you wanted to spend (partly because you thought this would only take a few minutes so you forgot to pack snacks), you’re leaving the store with at least one person in tears (sometimes you, sometimes the kids), a cart full of things you didn’t come for and you still couldn’t find the herb section.
(This might sound like an exaggeration, all of these things happened to us at the start of last year!)
Then, when you get home and start planting, things don’t get much easier…
Growing plants from seeds with kids is really hard to do.
You’ve probably heard us talk about the notoriously tricky seedling stage before, right? Well, doing that stage with kids in tow is even harder.
They’re all excited to be in the mud helping, but as they want to help with the seeds, it’s hard to make sure that you’re planting them in straight lines or getting them to the right depth. (Both are pretty crucial for growing awesome fruits and veggies…)
Pretty soon, it’s full-on gardening Lord of the Flies and you’re left hoping that at least a few plants manage to grow from the chaos…
Cut to: the two of us realising how much better it’d be to plant garden-ready plants with our children.
You might not know this, but the two of us — Adrian and Jodi — also run Roelands Plant Farms, where we grow plants for growers across North America.
Rather than dealing with the tricky seedling stage, these growers get us to love and nurture the seeds until they’re healthy, hardy seedlings ready to produce crazy amounts of fruits and veggies.
So, we thought, wouldn’t planting seedlings make it much easier to grow fruits and veggies with children too?
So, next planting season, we got some seedlings from the Roelands greenhouse and got our kids to help plant them in the garden.
And boy! How much easier it was!
The kids got to do all of the fun bits — digging the holes, planting the plants, using the water wand for the initial water– and we got to finish the planting season without pulling our hair out.
And, even better, because the plants are almost ready to start growing brag-worthy fruits and veggies, the kids didn’t lose that initial excitement waiting for the plants to grow, so when it came to time to harvest, they were still just as interested and excited as the day we put them in the ground.
(And we still had full heads of hair…)
So, there you have it, a little sneak peek into our lives and the secret reason we started Plantables!
Pssst… If you want to try gardening with your children, we recommend starting with the Pizza Kit! Not only are all of the plants hardy and super easy to plant and grow (even for little ones), but you get to make pizza at the end of it. (And who doesn’t love pizza?)