Recession Gardens - Part 2

There's a green movement sprouting up in backyards all over the country - so-called "recession gardens" are helping families stretch their food dollars.

When First Lady Michelle Obama dug in to the south lawn of the White House, she joined a growing group of gardening fans around this country eager to grow their own fruits and veggies to save money and eat healthy.

But if you don't have that kind of space or the White House staff to help you out, you can still start a garden.

In Part 2 of our special feature, we take a look at how you can start one at your own home.

First things first, you need to find a sunny location to put the garden.

"What the garden needs is sunlight, six to eight hours of direct sunlight. If you've got a shady yard, a vegetable garden is not for you." says Purdue Extension educator Phil Sutton.

You could dig right in and till a section of soil or you could build a frame for a raised bed.

Master Gardener Neil Seufert prefers this method for a number of reasons. "It makes it easy to do weeding because you're only reaching part-way in from all the way around."

"The idea is to build the soil, keep adding to it, not walking on it, not compacting the soil, making it nice and loose for the plants to grow and the roots to dig deep into the ground and confine your nutrients."

But for some folks, a patch of garden is impossible because they just don't have the room.

Here's a remedy: a container garden. It could be a big flower pot or a garden kit.

Greg Leyes from Ginger Valley says, "If you don't have a big space in your yard for a garden, you can grow it in this little box here. This can go on the patio, if you're an apartment dweller it can even go on your balcony of your apartment."

No matter what you try, beginners are advised to dream big but start small.

"You don't want to turn yourself off to gardening, you don't want to make it unenjoyable by biting off more than you want to chew," says Sutton.
Here's another way to get fresh veggies without digging up your backyard: just plant a few vegetable plants right in your flower beds. They blend right in and they're pretty too.

If you'd like to start a community garden or a free-sharing unity garden, click here for helpful links and information.

You can read Part 1 of our series "Recession Gardens" by clicking here.

To read Part 3 of our series, "Recession Gardens," click here.

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