Depending on where you live the ground is probably still pretty frozen and maybe even snow covered. With such a long, cold and snowy winter you may have even started to forget that SPRING will eventually be here and before we know it summer’s bounty as well. This coming Sunday is National Gardening Day and while we won’t be out tilling our gardens just yet, there is still a lot we can do to prepare for a plentiful harvest.
According to the National Gardening Association (NGA) about 35 % of households in the US grow food either at home or in a community garden, and gardening isn’t something that just “other” people do – you can too. It’s as simple as taking a seed, covering it in soil and giving it some water and sunlight. Super simple, right? If in years past you didn’t think gardening was for you, or it took up too much time, think again. There are simple ways you can start your green thumb efforts now! From herbs and flowers to veggies and fruits there is a level of gardening that can meet just about everyone’s gardening game plan.
The newbie: if you are new to gardening, you don’t have to turn into Jack McGregor from Peter Rabbit overnight. Start simple! By simple you could even start with just an herb garden. Herbs grow really well and require little maintenance. You can start your herbs right now on a sunny window sill. Think basil, dill, rosemary or whatever you please.
The no space gardener: if you don’t have a backyard or rent, a container garden may be your perfect pick. From plastic containers to cans or pottery you can grow just about anything in containers. Your best bet is greens. Greens grow really well in containers! Think spinach, kale, lettuce, Swiss chard and more. Tomatoes also do well in containers and just one tomato plant can yield you a whole season of deliciousness. You can also start your container gardens inside before taking them out to your front stoop too!
The no fuss gardener: if you aren’t into spending a lot of time weeding or thinning your garden, go for hearty and easy to grow goods. Think of squash, cucumbers, peppers and beans. They are easy to spot once they grow and you don’t have to worry about thinning them out to make room for more. Although these really should be planted in the ground you could start their seedlings now or in the next month to be ready for transplant.
The veggie monster gardener: if you love it all and eat it all, plant it all. Think of your favorite salads and veggie dishes and plant away. Carrots, radishes and celery always taste better from the garden! Beets and potatoes not only taste better but last a long time! Plant to your heart’s desire and you’ll be eating full and well into the early fall. If you love tending your garden it’s worth learning how to can or freeze your bounty to savor your efforts all year long!
Seeds are cheap! Like super-duper cheap! You can get seeds locally from most drugs stores, dollar stores and of course any hardware/farm-garden store. Some as cheap as 2 to 4 packages for a dollar! Along with herbs and veggies you can also grow tons of different flowers too! Flowers bring a little joy into each day whether you leave them outside as decoration or if you want to pick and enjoy inside. So for pennies a pick you can really add to your life! From the exercise you can get planting, weeding and picking, to the healthful choices that can land on your plate, you really can’t grow wrong!
With so many options to grow your own food and flowers it’s almost harder not to get a green thumb! And if you just can’t see yourself going (or shall we say growing) it alone there are many options for taking part in community gardens in our area. Whether you want to add some herbs to your life, salads in your bowls or a full fridge of veggies, we are here rooting for you! Get a little dirty and even more creative and we know you’ll be eating healthy and hearty in no thyme! You can do this, beleaf in yourself and get gardening!