Saturday, March 14, 2009

"Victory Gardens" - back in fashion

Hoping to save some money this year by starting a garden? I keep hearing this notion bandied about, and I admit I'm jumping on the bandwagon too.

The victory gardens popular during World War II have seemingly made a comeback with the downturn in the economy and the focus on locally grown food. While the motivation is a little different this time around, it nonetheless could make productive use of our yards - especially those of us on larger suburban lots.

If you plan on giving it a go, here's some options you might consider:
  • Create a raised bed for planting vegetables and herbs. A raised bed allows for plants to be placed closer to one another and reduces the area required for growing (and produces more food per sq. ft.). In the Cincinnati area, you can learn about raised bed gardening at the Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati
  • Start composting. Not everyone has the space to create a composting pile that won't offend the neighbors, but it's the ultimate in recycling and makes for great fertilizer. If you do start composting, be sure you have the right "mix" of ingredients. The state of PA has a good primer on composting here.
  • Coordinate with neighbors or colleagues at work. If others you know are planning a garden, find out what they are doing and then plant something different. For example, one person might have lots of tomatoes, another bell peppers, and a third herbs and eggplant. Come harvest time, you can exchange and "share the bounty."
For more information about establishing a garden visit the National Gardening Association website.

Happy growing!

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