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Common even the President of the United States of America is gardening!  Ok well at least the White House will get it's first garden since the Victory Garden days, so what are you waiting for?

Food gardening is becoming a movement on it's own.  Not only due to tough financial times to reduce grocery bills, but also people are becoming better educated about produce and want to know where their food is coming from and is as healthy as possible. 

According to a recent survey by US National Gardening Association, seven million more people will start a vegetable garden in 2009, which is up 19% over last year.  This statistic itself is good motivation to get started if you haven't already!  Home vegetable gardens are easy to start and don't require that much time or effort.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Location, location, location... most staple vegetables thrive in full sunlight so find a location that has at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.
  • Start small... you don't need to feed the neighborhood on your first run (although that can be a goal later ;o).  Start with a couple 8x4 raised beds or even plan some cucumbers, tomatoes and pole beans in an empty flower garden or a small 10x10 plot if you don't want to build raised beds.
  • Watering...take watering your garden into consideration and preferably plant close to rain barrels where you could possibly run a drip line.  Don't plant your first garden where you or your garden hose can't reach or you won't make the effort to water when needed.
  • Planning hint... plant tall vegetables like corn and pole beans on the north or west sides of the garden so they don't block the sun for your smaller vegetables.
  • Good Soil... if you can prepare your soil with plenty of organic material like compost and KEEP AWAY from fertilizers and chemical pesticides.  Key to delicious vegetables is all in the soil.  Not too sandy and not too clay like... good amended soil will stay together when you squeeze it into your fist, but break apart easily.
  • Mulch & Mulch... mulching is one the best things you can do for your vegetable garden.  Use good quality organic mulch and lay about 2-3 inches around your vegetable plants and on top of your drip lines, if you use them.  Mulch will help retain water and help stop weeds.
  • Relax & Enjoy...relax and enjoy the garden.  Gardening is a fun experience and you trully get the fruits of your labor.  Nothing is more fun or rewarding then going out and picking fresh produce from your vegetable garden for a meal.

So there is no reason to not start a vegetable garden.  If you have kids this is a GREAT way to kick off the summer months as they can learn with you from start to finish... from planting the seeds or starter plants, to picking summer snacks while mom or dad aren't looking!  Most of all kids can learn that tomatoes do come from a plant that you cared for and helped grow, not from a grocery store counter.

These are just a few tips to get you motivated and moving.  Trust me and ask others, once you start you will only continue to expand every year... it's addictive.  So what are you waiting for?  Go plan and start your vegetable garden today!

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