Grow your own vegetables this Spring and save on shopping the produce section of the store

by Alison on March 26, 2013

It may still be March on the calendar but the outside world is getting ready for Spring. The bulbs are growing at a steady pace in our flower beds, the days are gracing us with more hours of sunlight, and seed orders are being submitted for our vegetable garden.  If you have a place in your yard for a flower or vegetable garden take advantage of the soil and get planning and planting.

Planting Cold Crops:

Onions, carrots, spinach, beets, radish, herbs, cabbage, and  lettuce can be planted in March in my area. Check your planting zone to see what grows best in your area for any time of the year. The United States National Arboretum is a good source for hardiness zones. Locate your zone by typing in your zip code. Another good source for planting advice is seed catalogs. White Flower Farm, Burpee, and Gardens Alive are some of my favorite catalogs. Home centers and  local garden centers can offer advice and catalogs also.

I found the perfect size indoor growing kits for kids and adults on my trip to Target. Cost: $1.00. I bought  Sweet Basil and Cilantro I’m thinking of fresh homemade salsa already.

 Each kit comes with: greenhouse base, greenhouse dome, seeds, growing medium pellets, and instructions.

Local Garden Clubs:

Join your local garden club, community garden or co-op for advice, education, and fellowship.  Check with your state’s agricultural department for listings in your area.

Seed and Plant Swaps and Sales:

Garden clubs are known for their plant sales and seed swaps. This is a great place to find plants that are native to your area. Members will “thin” out their beds and put them in the plant sales. Members are usually happy to give planting and care instructions with the plant sale.

If you are looking for free seeds check out the listings on freecylce and  SeedSwaps.  These sites allow you to trade, exchange or giveaway seeds to other avid gardeners.

Get the Family Involved:

Get family members involved and interested in gardening by letting them shop for seeds and plants.  Stock up on garden gloves, shovels, wheel barrows, watering cans, and organic amendments for your tasks.  My kids love to garden. Since the time they  were old enough to take part we have made gardening a family affair. Child size rakes, shovels, and tools are a big plus for letting them help you in the garden.

Harvesting your crops:

When you are ready to harvest your crops bring the kids into the garden and let them see what grew from the seeds or small plants you put in the ground in March. Talk about the different vegetables, texture, color, shape, and taste of each vegetable you grow. There is nothing like vegetables from your garden brought inside for meal time.

If you have crops to share, drop them off on your neighbor’s door step or set up a road side stand and sell the bounty.  It’s a great  Summer job for kids to learn the business of farming at any scale.

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