Want to save money, improve your health, and spend more time outdoors? Start your own garden! Growing your own fruits and vegetables is the ideal way to control what chemicals come into contact with your produce, and more affordable than the grocery store. Even better, homegrown food is often tastier and healthier than its store-bought counterpart.
Since it is likely that we have passed the last Seattle frost, you can start planting new crops right away. Even if your housing doesn't offer a lot of space, you can grow gardens in a sunny corner of your backyard, in your nearby P-Patch, or even in the SPU organic community garden located off of 4th Ave and W. Dravus St.
Luckily, growing your own plants is easier than most people think.
You can begin growing plants in indoor pots if the weather is still too cold or wet for the fragile baby plants, and replant them in tilled soil once the sun starts shining more. Or start a windowsill garden with small pots of culinary herbs like rosemary and oregano.
Although starter plants have the highest likelihood of living until they bear edibles, they can get a bit expensive depending on your plant of choice. Prices can vary from $3 - $30 and higher. A packet of seeds, on the other hand, only costs about a dollar, and has the ability to grow multiple starts. The cheapest growers are hardy vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and squash.
But the cheapest and easiest option for growing food is to cut off the growing “eyes” of old potatoes and planting them in the nearest patch of dirt. Potatoes are very low-maintenance to grow, needing only partial sunlight and moist soil. Dig them up in 2-4 months to find a bunch of tender, new potatoes perfect for roasting or frying.
And if you compost, the free mulch from your yard clippings and leftovers is the best nutrition for growing plants (and if you don’t compost, start now!).
Have questions or concerns about starting up your own garden? Comment down below and we will answer any you throw our way.