Spinach pasta with basil and feta.
Lisa M Baragiola

Gardening 101

Grow your own produce

Do you like fresh produce? It seems as if everything from the garden has more taste, flavor, aroma, and color. There is nothing better than a home-grown tomato or cucumber. Not to mention the chance to be outdoors getting some natural vitamin D while nurturing plants.  Fresh produce can sometimes be more expensive and has a shorter shelf life than canned or frozen. Even more reason to start gardening at home and have it readily available for your enjoyment. I grew up in a farming community and if we didn’t plant a garden, some of our neighbors did. My sister still plants a garden every year and I get to enjoy the results of her gardening skills.   Keep in mind, to be a gardener, you don’t need a backyard. We’re going to explore some traditional and alternative gardening options.

Traditional Inground

Utilizing this method, you can grow anything. It does require a plot of land. Inground gardening takes a commitment to weeding and watering. If you have a creative side, try landscape gardening to beautify your home and yield delicious produce.  It may be a bit of work, but worth it.

Square Foot

This type of gardening still requires a bit of land. You measure out a square foot of ground and plant a different variety in each square. This helps eliminate weeds and you can grow a variety of items. It’s a fun, colorful approach, and an efficient use of space.

Raised Bed

Raised bed gardening is super popular these days. It also requires space in your yard, but adds beauty, color, and variety. Typically, there are less weeds, better pest control, and you can grow almost anything. This method can be easier physically with less bending. Plan to either purchase or build the garden bed.

Container Gardening

This is one of my favorites and doesn’t take up a lot of space or land. You can use pots, buckets, window boxes and other types of containers. Make sure you have a drain hole for drainage and the proper amount of light necessary for each type of plant. Although this may limit variety, there are still great options such as spinach, kale, lettuce, tomatoes and more.

Vertical Gardening

Vertical gardening is a great option regardless of where you live. It can happen on the patio, balcony or indoors. This doesn’t work for all crops, but ideal for herbs and lettuce. It also contributes to both indoor and outdoor aesthetics.  Choose from many of the various vertical structures, chicken wire, fence walls, trellis, and preassembled indoor units. What could be more convenient and cost effective than cooking with herbs from your own kitchen.

Gardening 101

It all starts with your first plant and before you know it, you’re sharing it with the neighbors. Some benefits of growing your own produce are cost savings, nutritious and natural food. Happy planting and enjoy the “fruits” of your labor.

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