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June 18, 2018  |  Login
Green Gardens Galore
By Linda Brown-Kuhn

Want your own patch of green? We offer insider tips on how to plan and execute just about any kind of garden you can imagine!

People everywhere are donning their gardening gloves and heading outdoors. According to a recent National Gardening Association (NGA) survey, an estimated 43 million U.S. households plan to grow a garden this year - a sizable increase from the 36 million last year. And those numbers include the new President's digs, soon to be bursting with organic veggies, initiated by First Lady Michelle Obama herself.

The beauty of gardening is that it's not one-size-fits all. You can customize your garden to match your interests, time constraints, budget, available space, and sunlight.

Suburbanites may choose to tackle large (or any size) flower and vegetable gardens as evidenced by the resurgence of victory gardens in these times of economic hardship. City dwellers or people with small yards have a number of options, from container gardening, hydroponics and rooftop gardening, to community gardening, where you help tend to one large plot or grow what you will in an individual plot.

And what fun is gardening if it's not relaxing and low stress? That's the philosophy of slow gardening, led by horticulturalist Felder Rushing, who takes the inspiration for the moniker from the Slow Food Movement. The idea here is that gardeners should concentrate on seasonal rhythms and local conditions, not be in a hurry to get everything done all at once, and take time to admire their efforts.

The benefits of gardening, both tangible and intangible, can be enormous. The pleasure of nurturing and seeing what you've helped to create certainly spurs on many. Biting into a sun-warmed tomato or picking sweet peas off the vine for dinner is far superior to most grocery store produce which travels an average 1,500 miles from farm to market.

While you're dining on excellent veggies, fruits, and herbs you'll save some bucks in the bargain. Of the main reasons given for food gardening in the NGA survey, 54 percent cited saving money on food bills. What are the savings? The NGA states that the harvest from a well-run garden is about ½ pound of produce per square foot, worth approximately $2 per pound. So a typical 100-square-foot garden would yield $100 worth of produce, a 600-square-foot garden would yield $600 and so forth, minus start-up costs.

Growing a conventional food garden helps the earth by cutting transportation-related pollution used to ship produce around the globe. And by ramping up your effort a bit and gardening organically, you'll be producing safe, healthy food without the potentially harmful synthetic chemical pesticides and herbicides. As stated in an ecomii article on organic gardening, the U.S. EPA now believes 60 percent of all herbicides, 90 percent of all fungicides, and 30 percent of all insecticides to be potentially carcinogenic.

Whatever type of garden you desire, whether it's tiny or huge, full of annual and perennial flowers, vegetables, fruits, or herbs, ecomii has the expert advice you need to make it happen.



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