Thursday, June 13, 2013

Grow a Garden!

Do you know what hasn't existed at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt was living there? 

A garden!

Michelle Obama has championed healthy living and healthy eating as First Lady. And thanks to her, people across the country have revisited the American tradition of starting a vegetable garden at home.

First Lady Michelle Obama broke ground on the first vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden during World War II. Today, the garden is planted, tended and harvested by Mrs. Obama, White House staff, the National Park Service and visitors alike.

Growing your own fruits and vegetables is a great way to learn about nutrition and incorporate healthful, fresh and seasonal foods into your favorite meals. Even if you don't consider yourself a proficient gardener, with very little effort, the right tools and easy-to-follow instructions you will be on your way to having a green thumb.

Here are four tips to help your garden grow:

1.  Where will you grow your garden? If you have land and a sunny plot where your vegetables could grow, then that solves that. If you don’t have the space, you may consider container gardening on your porch or balcony or even your kitchen window sill.
2.  Consider the sunlight. A good gardening space receives at least six hours of sunlight per day plus has a water source. Keep this in mind when you choose your gardening space.
3.  Plant seasonally. Contact your local Cooperative Extension Office as a resource for finding out which crops are specific to your local growing region.
4.  Match the crop with the environment. Different plants require different growing environments. Tomatoes, for example, are heat-loving plants that need a long warm growing period and require germinating and growing seedlings in the warm indoors in early spring. Then when it warms up outdoors in late spring, the hearty well-established seedlings can be planted in the outdoors.

Our very own Missouri Botanical Gardens have great info to help you start. A quick trip to Lowes or Home Depot will have loads of how-to information about seed spacing, irrigation, soil types, and the right time to plant various vegetables. Plus you can buy seeds, supplies, and more.

Start small, maybe just with herbs or a tomato pot. Once you enjoy the fresh and healthy flavors it'll grow on you (no pun intended)!

To your health,

Tim Chudy
Fitness Together

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