Benefits of Growing Your Own Food
Whether you are involved in community garden projects or just want to grow fruits, vegetables and herbs in your backyard, spring is a great time to get inspired and take action. Gardening today is popular due to more than concerns over the quality of the food found in stores:
Health – Produce that ripen in the garden have more nutrients. Control over what type of fertilizers and pesticides come in contact with your food is a significant consideration.
Taste - Properly grown and ripened produce simply tastes better. Gardeners may also choose to grow flavorful varieties of fruits and vegetables that are difficult to find locally.
Learning – Backyard gardens help teach children lessons about the path that food takes to get on the plate. There is a certain self-satisfaction associated with the sustaining power of gardening that is a little bit magical. It’s just fun to share healthy food nurtured by your own efforts.
Bonding – Sharing the gardening experience is a great way to reach out to the local community, friends or family and create bonds though a common goal. When people toil together they enjoy the growing feeling of community that comes from sharing a new adventure.
Find a community garden near you with
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American Community Gardening Association (ACGA)
Lawn and Garden Month
National Lawn and Garden Month is celebrated each year in April. By spring we are all anxious to get outside and enjoy the nice weather and the rebirth of all things green. Gardens come in many shapes and sizes and can be adapted to fit your outdoor space. A small garden can yield an amazing amount of produce if properly planned. Flower gardens make a yard look beautiful and welcoming. Vegetable gardens give the added bonus of providing fresh vegetables for your table.
April is the perfect time to clean up your lawn and get it ready for summer. It’s important to get the mowing height right when you mow your lawn. Most lawns do well at 2″ to 3″, but it’s a good idea to leave it a little longer during hot months. Leaving the grass clippings on your lawn recycles the plant nutrients back into the soil and is a great fertilizer. Always use a sharp blade for mowing as a dull blade will tear the grass rather than cutting it. Water and fertilize your lawn, but don’t overdo either. A lawn survives better if it is under-watered and under-fertilized than it does if you overdo it. Too much water will drown the grass and too much fertilizer will burn it.
Source-National Day Calendar
10 Veggies Anyone Can Grow On Their Own
How to give gardening a try
Early spring is a great time to start a garden, even if you’ve never planted a single seed before. Not only can cool-weather gardening result in sweeter vegetables, there are other benefits, too. Growing your own food means you’re eating produce when it’s most nutrient-dense, since foods can lose some of their nutritiousness after they’re harvested.
10 Foods Even Beginners Can Grow
Spinach – Growing your own greens also has health benefits. Lettuce can lose about half its nutrient value in just 48 hours after its been picked. Go for spinach, arugula, mustard greens, mizuna or asian greens.
Edible Flowers – Edible flowers like nasturium are a simple and tasty addition to a garden.
Herbs – Every new gardener should start out with some simple herbs like basil, chives, cilantro, parsley, thyme and dill. They require very little space and can make all the difference in a meal.
Bok Choy – Bok choy is a veggie high in antioxidants and vitamin A, and depending on the variety, it can add some color to your plate. Some bok choy varieties can have deep purple leaves.
Kale – Leafy greens like kale are good for gardeners since they can grow all season long.
Rainbow Chard – Chard is a colorful leafy addition to a garden and can reach up to two feet tall with bright red stems. Growing chard yourself is a good idea since this veggie is not known to ship well and finding it in good quality in a grocery store can be difficult.
Cherry Tomatoes – Tomatoes are easy to grow, and cherry tomatoes are a good place to start. Find a sunny spot for tomato seeds and make sure there is deep soil for their roots.
Cucumber – Cucumbers grow easily in warm conditions. Once you start growing cucumbers it’s hard to go back to buying them at the grocery store.
Peas – Snap peas also grow easily. Snap peas will grow into tall, lanky vines, and it’s a good idea to tie them to a small trellis for support. You can pick the peas when they are bright green and plump.
Carrots – Carrots will always be a garden mainstay, and though root vegetables may seem more intimidating, new gardeners can find them worthwhile and easier than expected.