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Special Section


Gardening: Get a head start on your garden




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March 8, 2011 | 1,662 views | Post a comment

(StatePoint)

What can keep you fit, give you peace of mind, save you money on groceries and add flavor to your dinner plate? Gardening!

Here’s what you need to know to get a jump on your favorite gardening activities:

Plan Your Garden

When deciding what seedlings to grow for your garden, consider how the sunlight falls in your yard. Some flowers and vegetables need constant sunshine, while others need a shady nook. Consult a gardening book or a local gardening expert for guidance.

More information on the healthful benefits of homegrown vegetables is available by visiting www.cdc.gov and searching for “gardening.”

Start indoors

Seedlings can be started indoors and then moved to your garden as the weather warms. They can be started in almost anything, from cardboard egg cartons to washed yogurt containers. Just make sure to use sterile seed starting mix and poke enough holes in the bottom of each container for drainage.

Just make sure you time your seedlings so you can replant them at the optimum time. For more tips on growing seedlings indoors, visit www.aerogarden.com.

Prep for Transplant

Once the danger of cold nights has passed, you can prepare your outdoor garden for planting. You may want to test the pH level of your soil, as well as the level of nutrients like phosphorus, nitrogen, calcium, potassium and magnesium. You can start digging if the soil crumbles easily in your palm. Remove any weeds, branches or stones up to 8 inches deep.

Suddenly transplanting your seedlings outdoors can shock them, so begin by letting your seedlings live outdoors for a few hours each day. Gradually increase the time until any danger of cool evenings has passed.

Then transplant your seedlings to your garden bed and watch them bloom! In a few weeks you should have beautiful flowers or the beginnings of a bountiful vegetable harvest.
 

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