Starting garden could save money, time - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Starkville 04/01/09

Starting garden could save money, time

STARKVILLE, MS (WLBT) - Growing your own fresh vegetables is no longer just for farmers. In this tight budgeted economy more and more families are interested in taking on the challenge of household gardening.

"Now we are really seeing it with the economy and things. Folk's are looking for ways to save a dollar," said Chuck Grantham.

Grantham with the Mississippi State Extension Service says, this year his office has seen a tremendous increase in people inquiring about home gardening and if it's worth it.

"Absolutely it's worth it. The benefits are they have fresh vegetables they can go out and pick on a regular basis. It saves them from having to go to the grocery store and put out that extra money," said Grantham.

"It's a lot easier to go to the deep freezer then it is to the grocery store," said Sammy Breland, a home gardner.

Breland has a home garden and grows a little of everything.

"It helps with the budget. We have mostly anything you want to eat out of the garden and we have deep freezers that we eat out of year round," said Breland.

Grantham says, experienced gardners don't like to plant before Good Friday in case of a late freeze. So for all of the inexperienced folk's ready to take on the challenge:

"That will be here before we know it, so if you haven't started planning now's the time to go ahead and think what you want and make you a plan for your garden and be ready to go when the time gets here," said Grantham.

Grantham says start off small. If it's too big you will easily become frustrated and possibly give up.

"Start small with some easy things to grow like tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, things like that, some cucumbers that can be either small or trellised and that will produce a lot of food with just two or three plants for the family," said Grantham.

Beuford Evans has grown fresh vegetables his whole life and agrees that a small garden can produce more than you might think.

"You got any size, any size space at all plant something even if you have to hoe it up with a hoe. Six tomato plants. Two people can eat them for a long time," said Evans.

the Garden Tabloid, which is a product of the Mississippi State Extension Service offers free tips to guide you with the basics of starting a successful home garden. Everything from testing your soil to the importance of fertilizing and watering your plants. Even ways to keep insects from eating your veggies before you get a chance to.

To read the Garden Tabloid, click on the following link:

http://msucares.com/pubs/publications/p1091.pdf

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