April showers brought May flowers, along with the greening and blooming of everything. Now that we are into June you might think the opportunity to start your home garden has passed. Not true! In fact late spring is the perfect time for much of the country to start a garden. It’s not too late to grow your own organic produce!
I really believe everyone should grow something. It doesn’t matter how much space you have, you can find a way to grow at least one or two of your most used vegetables. Even just a few plants will really save you some money this summer. And the satisfaction of knowing you are eating something that you tended to and cultivated is worth it alone.
On top of that, gardening is a great activity to get the entire family involved with. Kids of all ages love to help in the garden. Obviously there is dirt involved and when it is time to harvest it is great fun to eat right off the plant. If you have maintained an organic growing process, there is no reason not to! Everything tastes better fresh from your garden. My kids have tried quite a few new vegetables just because they helped plant, grow, and pick them.
There are a few fruit and vegetables that may not have enough time to develop from seeds. Tomatoes and peppers are two examples. You can use starter plants to get around that. I actually prefer to use starter plants in my garden.
For some reason, I am always afraid that I did something wrong with planting seeds. Even though I have never had an issue with seeds, I prefer to just pop some little seedlings in the ground and help them grow bigger. Nothing is a guarantee of course, but a plant that is already established just seems like a surer bet to me.
Using starter plants instead of seeds will cost a little more up front. It is still a significant way to save in the long run. Finding organic starter plants can be a tad challenging. I am lucky to have a Whole Foods nearby that sells certified organic starter plants from a local organic farm. They offer a huge variety of veggies, fruits, and herbs and are generally available through mid to late-June. Believe it or not, they have the best price! Big box stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot also have a more limited selection. Just make sure you get organic plants. Many local greenhouses also offer organic starter plants.
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If you are going to start from seeds, some that mature later in the season are still a good bet. Vegetables like zucchini, lettuce, green beans, yellow squash, and cucumbers may still be OK to begin in late spring. Organic seeds are found most anywhere conventional are. They are also available online. I have used this brand in the past with success and I have more planted this year. The beginning of summer is also the perfect time to plant eggplant, pumpkin, and brussels sprouts seeds.
Easy Growing Options
How you garden depends entirely on the space you have available. From containers on an apartment balcony (these are so cool, and easy to take to a neighbor to water if you go out-of-town!) to a large plowed section of yard, the effort you put in will be rewarded. I use raised bed gardens. You can make your own easily or purchase a pre cut kit in any gardening department. This is a great one at a great price (Amazon.com Price $24.50 as of 06/06/2017 9:35 EST – More Info).
Even if you don’t have a green thumb (I for sure do not), gardening is easy, rewarding and so worth it! Just make sure you are starting with organic soil, organic seeds or starter plants, and cultivating with organic fertilizers and pest control. You can find all of these things nearly anywhere conventional garden supplies are sold. Or make it even easier and just have Amazon.com ship it to your door so you don’t have to lug it around and get you car dirty.
So get out there this week. Take advantage of these last days of spring. It’s not too late to grow your own organic produce. And remember, every veggie or fruit that comes from your garden is one less you have to buy at the market. If a garden is still too much, consider at least growing some organic herbs. There is nothing better than homemade pesto with basil from your own plant! Except maybe for freshly picked cucumbers and tomatoes on your salads this summer.