From genetically modified crops to the environmental and health effects of pesticides, more and more Pennsylvania residents are questioning whether they should grow what they eat.
Wherever you stand on the issues surrounding today’s food supply, however, there are several good reasons to start your own garden:
Clearly there are plenty of benefits to gardening. But, how do you get started?
Here are some important tips from the Oregon State University (OSU) Extension Service, which, like similar services around the country, provides helpful community resources on agriculture and other topics.
“Choosing a garden site is as important as selecting the vegetables to grow in it,” according to the OSU Extension website. “All vegetables need sunlight and fertile, well-drained soil, and they will contract fewer diseases if the site has good ventilation.”
Here’s what to consider before marking your garden plot:
Check with a local gardening organization or search the Web for what vegetables are best for your specific situation and climate. Here are three factors to keep in mind when you’re getting ready to plant, according to the OSU extension:
The best way to water is by monitoring your garden, rather than simply adhering to a set schedule. Follow guidelines for your specific plants, and avoid these common problems:
For more specific advice on gardening in Pennsylvania, check with the local university extension program. And, don’t worry; you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy homegrown food. You just need to be willing to put in a little time and effort — and get your hands dirty!