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Published on April 08, 2014

Our Garden Thrives

April 8, 2014

tomatoes and peppersNo experience gardening? No problem! Even novices can enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of a little labor. Start with a pair of gloves, a bag or two of soil, and some clay or plastic pots.

“My husband and I work and are involved in our children’s sports and after-school activities, so container planting was an ideal way to start,” says Beckie Frieders, certified health education specialist and preventive health educator at Valley West Hospital, Sandwich. “I can’t live without fresh tomatoes and green peppers during the summers, and seasoning with homegrown herbs is a great way to avoid excess salt.”

Many types of vegetables - including beans, salad greens, and eggplant – thrive in containers. Choose light-colored pots with adequate drainage that are deep enough to accommodate the plant’s roots. The bigger the pot, the more moisture it can hold, and the less often you’ll have to water. Climbing plants may benefit from staking or surrounding with a wire cage. Pay close attention to sunlight, water, and feeding requirements; most vegetables enjoy full sun.

Here are some fun projects for beginning gardeners:

  • Make a terrarium using a jar, potting soil, stones, and a plant, such as a violet or begonia, suitable for a small, enclosed space.
  • Plant low-maintenance flowers, such as hosta and black-eyed Susan.
  • Grow a pizza garden. Divide your plot into “slices” for cultivating tomatoes, peppers, and herbs.

Looking for space to garden but don’t have any at your place? The Sandwich Park District hosts a community garden with plots available for a small fee. The Plano Community Garden also has plots available, and leftovers are donated to the Kendall County Food Bank. 

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