Grow-your-own to save on vegetables

March 18, 2011 4:22:37 AM PDT
At the Tyler Arboretum, gardeners like Betsey Ney have been getting a lot of questions about growing vegetables.

Ney says, "A lot of people are interested in growing their own vegetables because they want to save money. They want to grow their own vegetables because they can get very fresh, good vegetables. They know how it's grown. They grow organically and you can get different varieties of vegetables that you can grow from seed than you can get at the supermarket, or even some of the farmers' markets."

This weekend, the Arboretum is holding a workshop for would-be vegetable gardeners. And Betsey says not only is growing your own vegetables cost-effective, it's easy.

Most seed packets, from which you can grow dozens and dozens of veggies, cost just a couple of dollars. She showed me how to start the seeds -- which can be done inside even now.

After placing the seeds in a small indentation in sterile potting soil in a small cup with holes cut in the bottom for drainage, they need some water. Then you cover them with plastic wrap and keep them warm. Once you get sprouts, remove the plastic and when they've grown to be small plants, they're ready to go outside.

"If you have good soil, and good sunlight, and then you plant your plants, keep them watered and harvest them," Ney says.

If you don't have a big yard, don't worry, plenty of vegetable varieties can be grown in containers on a deck or patio.

"There are specific varieties that the breeders have been developing that take much less room," Ney says.

"There's nothing like something picked fresh, right out of the garden. The taste really is better when you eat it just after being picked," she adds.

For more information on the vegetable garden workshop, click here.