Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Home Gardening

In life, as in a garden, you reap what you sow.
~Nancilee Wydra- Feng Shui in the Garden

Nothing makes me feel better than being outside on a warm, sunny day working in my garden. I relax and have time to think. The stress melts away as I pull weeds and dig my hands into the soil. I feel a great sense of accomplishment when the flowers bloom and the fruits and vegetables bear fruit.

When harvest time comes I enjoy sharing my bounty with friends and family.

Gardening is a wonderful way to relax, enjoy nature, live green and save money. Growing your own fruit or vegetables can dramatically slash your grocery bill.

Just a few plants can keep you stocked for months.

You can save a lot of money with minimal effort by growing your own produce.

Seed packets are cheap usually ranging from $.25 to $2.00 depending on the seeds. A small area in your yard is free while a few containers and some dirt are not costly. You can also buy small plants from a local nursery. A 4 or 6 pack of tomato plants averages $3.00 and 4 or 6 plants can produce a large amount of tomatoes.

Basically it involves digging a hole, sticking in some seeds or a plant and keeping it weed free and watered. Small effort, big rewards. You’ll really see the rewards when harvest time comes and you have loads of fresh fruit and vegetables.

If you have children gardening is great way to spend time with them and get them outside. They’ll love watching the plants flourish and they will be more likely to eat the foods that they helped grow.

Once you really get into gardening you’ll want to learn more. Easy ways are to go to free gardening classes, join a gardening club, or check out books and videos from your local library

I started out with a few tomato plants and every year my garden gets bigger and I plant a larger variety of plants. Now I usually have tomatoes, several varieties of squash, pumpkins, peppers, turnips and more plus all my flowers and ornamentals.

This year I’m adding a small herb area.

Planting a few pumpkin seeds alone saves me a small fortune at Halloween. I no longer have to pay ridiculous prices for pumpkins that my kids carve into Jack-o-lanterns.

Tomatoes and peppers are relatively easy to grow and can also be grown in containers.

Herbs are great for growing in pots on your patio or even on your windowsill. Go to your local nursery or garden center and see what they have available. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Trained workers can often help you pick out the right plants or seeds for your area and level of knowledge. If you wanted to grow pumpkins, squash or watermelon you would need a large area since the vines sprawl out. While peppers, most herbs, cucumbers or beans take up smaller plots.

You’ll really see how much sense gardening makes and dollars you’ll save at harvest time when you have fresh fruits and vegetables to enjoy and share with family and friends. Make the most of your harvest by turning your fruits and vegetables into jams, jellies, sauces, soups, pickles, breads and more that can be easily stored in your pantry or frozen and can be used for months to come.

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