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Do Your Part: Small Space Gardening

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By Terri Bennett

small_space_garden(MCT)—Want to grow some of your own food but think you don’t have enough space? Do Your Part and think small! That’s because some of the biggest flavors can actually grow in the smallest of places. So whether you’re living in an apartment or you just don’t have the biggest backyard in the world — there are easy ways to get in on the grow-your-own food revolution.

It’s best to start simply—with just a sunny window. Small flowerpots are perfect for growing herbs. Almost all herbs can thrive in these small containers. And, having your favorite herbs on hand in the kitchen is convenient and economical. No more wasting money on bunches of herbs from the grocery store that will go to waste if they aren’t all used. Window boxes are another smart solution for those with less space to grow. You can buy all sorts of different varieties at hardware stores or make your own. You can easily grow herbs in these too or use them to grow dwarf varieties of your favorite vegetables.

If you have a sunny spot outdoors, say on a deck or porch, then you can think a little bigger. Flowerpots outdoors can yield everything from herbs, lettuce, tomatoes, and strawberries. Just remember, the bigger the foods you want to grow (think cucumbers and tomatoes) the bigger the pots you’ll need. Foods such as peppers or greens thrive in small containers. Or, you can literally turn your garden upside down and use hanging baskets to grow even more foods. The most important thing is to make sure your growing spot gets a minimum of six hours of sunlight a day.

For areas where you have a little more room to grow—consider raised garden boxes. With just a few feet, you can grow an incredible amount of food and you’ll have fewer weeds and pests to handle. You can also create raised beds that are several feet off the ground so it’s less taxing on your back as you garden. Consider adding a few trellises so you can grow crops such as beans and peas vertically. Check out DoYourPart.com/Columns to see a list of some of the easiest foods to grow at home.

What I enjoy the most about my garden is that I know exactly what’s going into the food I grow and, ultimately, eat. I always opt for organic seeds to start with and use only natural pesticides and fertilizers. That way, when I prepare my fruits and vegetables for my family, I know that the food is free of any toxins. Do Your Part to grow your own foods at home — you’ll soon see how easy, economical, and tasty it truly is.

Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, eco-expert and author of “Do Your Part: A Practical Guide for Everyday Green Living” available at DoYourPart.com.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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