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You say tomato, I say tomato.

March 16, 2011

As the weather warms, I can’t wait to get my vegetable garden started. Tomato and pepper slices with fresh basil. YUM. And besides making my stomach happy, growing veggies can be cost-effective, easy, fun, and a great lesson for kids.

It’s easier than you think

If you’ve thought about starting a garden but feel you’re limited on time, money, space, expertise, or patience – don’t worry, there’s a garden to fit every situation and there are many resources out there to help you.

The answer to every gardening objection

My go-to is Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. I used this book for my first veggie garden, and every year since. Simple, straightforward, detailed but not technical, and designed to help you grow great vegetables in minimal space with minimal water. Also check out the web site.

In addition, here are some things that have gardening easier for me…

Weeding. I hate weeding. And who has that kind of time? For this reason, I always use landscape fabric (examples here) purchased from any home improvement or gardening supply store. Don’t forget a box of landscape pins (look like giant, un-stapled staples) to fix the fabric to the ground. Volia! No weeds and no chemicals.

Watering. To prevent your water bill eating up the money you’ll save at the grocery store, remember vegetables plants should be watered directly at the base with a cup (The Square Foot Gardening book above includes plant-specific quantities) or watering can, NOT sprayed or sprinkler-ed (yeah, not a word).

Taking it a step further, and saving my back a bit, I run irrigation hose along the base of the plants, and use more landscape pins to keep it in place.

Vegetable overload. It’s easy for your eyes to be bigger than your stomach and your green thumb. Keep it simple the first year especially, don’t over-plant. Despite this sound advice, I always forget how big those cute little seedlings are going to get and every year I end up with a crazy, vegetable jungle and more zucchini than my family, friends, or the city of Raleigh can possibly eat.

Your turn!

Get your green thumb on and let me know what are you craving in your veggie garden this year!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Kerrie Grant permalink
    March 16, 2011 2:12 pm

    Thanks for the great information.
    I plan to save a little space for some herbs as well. Just the basic kitchen herbs – parsley, mint, oregano, sage, thyme and tarragon for instance can transform a simple meal into a feast. As most herbs are basically weeds, they are hardy and easy to grow, in the ground or in pots and taste SO much better than the expensive, not-so-fresh little packages in the grocery store

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