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Plant your own vegetables

Fire Escape Garden
Fire Escape Garden
Kristine Paulus

So you want to eat healthy but can't afford organic produce? Here's the answer! Plant your own vegetables!. Even if you are a total beginner, you can get some kind of results from your garden and enjoy home grown benefits. Vegetables that you've grown yourself somehow just taste better and if you really enjoy the experience, you can even look into canning and freezing what you've grown. And don't worry if you live in an apartment because you can grow most vegetables in containers, even corn.

So what do you do first? Decide how large your garden should be, containers or plot, the quality of your soil and what you need to add to it, and what vegetables you want to plant. Do some research for your area regarding planting times and then buy some seeds to start inside. Easy, right?

If you've decided to use containers, there are many websites to help you get started, with several good ones for beginners. Check out and you will find pictures and articles that will help you get over your fear of "doing it wrong." When planting your containers, you must consider sun, water, heat, soil, fertilizer, drainage, and container size; this site gives information for it all. It suggests that the easiest container veggies are peas, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, cucumber, eggplant, and zucchini, with melons, corn, and pumpkins being of higher difficulty. For more detailed information, go to gardening.about, which gives more information regarding container sizes, veggie choices, etc.

If you have a large yard and want to start a garden that can grow larger each year, look into raised beds or dig your own plot. A good site to get you started is which gives instruction for all aspects of vegetable gardening, including planting marigold flowers along the perimeter to deter rabbits and using horse manure to deter deer. It also gives information about a natural pest deterrent for your plants. Another great, site, and personal favorite, is vegetable gardening online. This site has free garden plans and worksheets for small in-ground plots, raised beds, and container gardens and has a wealth of information for unsure gardeners. It also contains information on canning, preserving, and freezing your vegetables, which will be a real bonus when winter arrives. This not only saves money but is better for you to eat.

So, planting is done, your scarecrow is up, you're faithfully watering your veggies. Those little plants are starting to grow and bud and look so green and beautiful. What's left? Eating a carrot pulled right out of the dirt or biting into a tomato that you grew yourself! There's nothing better! After your successful first season, you can think abut a larger garden for the next one and add new vegetables to it. Experiment! And, you might even think about growing enough to sell next year, a plus for your frugal and thrifty lifestyle. Happy Gardening!