Garden for good health this spring in Georgia
Whether you live in the city, the country, or somewhere in between, you can grow seasonal fruits and vegetables in your very own garden. Gardening is also a good workout for your arms, legs, and core — giving you a double health benefit. And if you have children, it’s a great way to encourage them to play outside and try different foods.
“It’s the quickest way to turn a veggie-hater into a veggie-lover,” said Alice Rolls, executive director of Georgia Organics, a partner of Kaiser Permanente in Georgia. “It’s just satisfying and awe-inspiring — and not lost on kids when they dig in the dirt.”
No backyard? No problem!
If you’ve thought of starting a garden but didn’t think you had the space, don’t worry — there are ways to garden virtually anywhere. With just a balcony or a windowsill, you can set up containers for tomatoes and herbs. Your neighborhood may even have a community garden available.
Have kids? Give them their own section to care for and empower them to choose their plants. Caring for their own plants will teach them to be responsible and help them build self-confidence.
Sometimes just getting started can be a little intimidating. If you need help getting past this phase, try these tips:
- Plant a theme garden. Have a soft spot for Italian food? Plant tomatoes, oregano, onions, basil, and sweet peppers. If you love Mexican food, grow cilantro, jalapenos, onions, and tomatoes.
- Start from seed. Go to a garden store ask about plants that are easy to grow from seeds. For example, green beans and snap peas are great options. They’re fast-growing, hardy, and can be eaten right off the vine.
- Create some flower power. Nasturtiums are vibrant, lovely, and edible. They also attract hummingbirds, which can brighten the day of kids and grownups alike.
- Dig for buried treasure. Potatoes are sturdy enough to thrive in a wide range of conditions. And of course, they’re a versatile addition to any meal.
Make your garden thrive
These basic rules will help make sure your plants flourish:
- Make sure to feed the soil, not just the plant.
- Provide drainage for water, so your plants won’t rot.
- Give your plants the light (or shade) they need.
- Start small to keep things manageable as you learn.
In a few months, you’ll have your own healthy, home-grown treats to enjoy with loved ones. In the meantime, get outside, get those muscles working, and enjoy the simple pleasure of helping something grow.
In the Spotlight – Find out what’s happening in your area: