Grow Your Own Garden

Going green, Green kids, Wildlife — By on April 3, 2009 at 6:18 am
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Grow Your Own Garden

Nothing tastes better than homegrown tomatoes in summertime!  When you grow your own garden, you know exactly what is going into the fruits and vegetables you harvest yourself.  Plus, you pick them at the peak of ripeness when flavor.  Even the White House is installing a vegetable garden!

The local food movement is hot these days for plenty of reasons.  People don’t want to pay extra money for food that has to travel thousands of miles to the store.  The environmental impact of the fossil fuels used for transport is part of the impetus behind the 100-mile limit for food to be considered locally-grown.

Health reasons also come into play.  Many of us are concerned about pesticides and chemicals – let alone food safety!  Hobby gardens are turning into full-fledged family affairs, with children pitching in to plant seeds, weed and till.

Teaching kids about gardening is a great way to instill respect for the earth and also sneak in a little biology lesson.  Whether you have a yard, or patio, you can still grow fresh foods.  The smallest spaces can be used for potted herbs and tomatoes.  Fo rour patio, I buy herb seedlings each spring and fill 1-2 pots with lavender, basil, parsley, thyme and cilantro.  Great for homecooking!  And they smell great.

A larger plot can be converted into a home garden in a weekend, or less.

Check out this fun video by “Eat the View,” which encouraged the Obamas to grow food in a White House garden:

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Local food movement starts in your backyard

Things you’ll need to grow your own garden include seeds (or seedlings), enriched soil, manure or other feed, a trowel, rake and shovel.  To mark your little plants, get some popsicle sticks and write in black ink (or, staple the seed packet on the front).  Also required for larger areas is some 2X4 lumber planks to define the plot.

You can make your own markers using recycled materials.  The easiest way to do this is to get a stack of popsicle sticks and staple the empty seed package on the front.  Insert into the soil.

Clear out any rocks and other debris.  Spread the soil and mix into existing soil about 6 inches deep.  Create and mark rows for your plantings.  Follow directions on the seed packets regarding planting depth.  Spread manure over the top.  Water thoroughly and continue at least once a day until well-established.

What will you grow in your own garden this year?

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  1. Wendy says:

    Great post full of really wonderful suggestions! Thanks!

  2. Stephanie says:

    Thanks Wendy – gardening with my kids is one our favorite pasttimes.

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