Spring has arrived. Garden centers and plant stands are opening everywhere. While buying fresh, seasonal produce at the grocery store or farmer’s market is great, growing your own can be very rewarding. If you don’t have space for a traditional garden, try a container garden. Here are some tips on getting started with a traditional or container garden.
– Starting from seeds can be more cost effective than buying plants but definitely takes more time, planning, and work. If you haven’t already started your seeds, you may be too late for the year. Just go for plants this time around.
– Pick a few starter plants. You don’t need to try and replace the entire produce section at the grocery store. Think of what you use the most or what you find the most cumbersome to buy. Herbs are a great place to start. I hate how much it costs to buy fresh basil, so I made sure to include that in my plants this year. I buy a lot of tomatoes and especially enjoy the special varieties of cherry tomatoes, although they can be a bit pricey. So I planted my own, as well as a traditional plant.
– Read up! There are a lot of gardening resources out there, in print or online. Find a good reference source to help you know timing, feeding, watering, etc. for each of your plants.
– Get everyone involved. If you have kids, let them help you plant, water, or harvest as is age appropriate. If they feel some ownership in the vegetables, they might be more willing to eat them.
– Don’t give up. If one type of plant fails, keep trying with other plants. Gardening is a trial and error process. My dad had a garden when I was a kid. He wasn’t very good at growing peas or tomatoes, but squash he could grow really well.
Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!