Grow Your Own Food

Contributors: Taylor Wolfram, MS, RDN, LDN
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Nothing compares to the taste of a tomato just picked from the vine or a cucumber from your own backyard. Gardening is a fun physical activity, providing you with great tasting produce and, ultimately, saves you trips to the store. In addition, it's a perfect way to teach children about where food comes from.

Here are a few easy steps to get you gardening and growing your own nutritious food.

  • Calculate your space. Before buying plants or seeds, calculate how much space you have (ground or container) that gets adequate sun. Most vegetable plants require at least six hours of light each day.
  • Know what grows. When buying your plants, ask what varieties will do best in the conditions you have to work with. For example, several compact tomato plants do particularly well in containers. If you have neighbors who garden, ask them what has grown well in their yard.
  • Check your soil quality. If you aren't sure about the quality of soil in your backyard, use a testing kit to see if you need to reinforce it with any nutrients.
  • Start small. Remember, you don't have start with an extravagant space with vegetables to fill a farmers market. Your garden can be as simple as a few window boxes of herbs or a potted tomato plant.

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