child watering plants in container on a balcony

Let’s Start a Garden

Let’s plant something! It’s not too late to start that garden you were thinking about this past winter. To help you out, we have LOTS of resources for you. Read on to get some new recipes, learn how to purchase seedlings with SNAP/HIP benefits, and enjoy a fun activity for the whole family.

There are so many benefits to having a garden. Those tomatoes you’re growing are not only nutritious but tending and nurturing them as they grow and picking them is good for our mental health too. Gardening and tending to plants have been shown to decrease stress and improve our mood. So, get that garden growing!

Need another reason to start a garden? Do you have any picky eaters in your household? Have you tried to get a child to eat a radish? I guarantee; if they grow it, they’ll eat it! Plant those radishes or lettuce or collard greens (or all three!). They’ll be ready in a few short weeks. If you’re looking for a way to use those radishes, try this recipe for Roasted Radishes. What about a tasty and fresh way to use lettuce in this Apple and Chicken Salad. For a delicious recipe for those collard greens try this recipe for Collared Roll-Ups. If you need seeds for those radishes or other vegetables head to your nearest….library! Many libraries provide seeds to their patrons at no cost.

plastic gallon container split lengthwise with seedlings on windowsill
A close-up front view of a milk carton that has been cut in half and repurposed into a little planter for herbs.

Photo description: plastic gallon container split lengthwise with seedlings on windowsill.

Check out our recent gardening blog post for more tips and resources. Whether you choose to plant some herbs for your kitchen window, add a container with cherry tomatoes on your balcony, or grow zucchini from a tub in your driveway. Your choices are limited only by your imagination.

If a container garden is more your style, feel free to think out of the box. Use that empty shoe box or milk container to grow herbs. Upcycle a soup or tomato can for herbs. Take a look in your recycling bin for other ideas. For more, check out our blog post on Container Gardening.  Of course, we saved the best and (my favorite !) kind of garden for last, how about a fairy garden?

Group of people gardening on raised beds in a community garden.
Multiracial group of young men and young women gather as volunteers to plant vegetables in community garden with mature woman project manager advice and teamwork

Photo description: Group of people gardening on raised beds in a community garden.

Once you have identified the best kind of garden for you and selected the seeds how about adding some seedlings? Did you know that you can purchase seedlings through the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP)? It’s HIP to save! Check out our page dedicated to HIP for more!

Maybe a garden just isn’t right for you. You can still plant something! How about growing a native plant? What is a native plant? It’s one that originates from this area. What is native in California is different than in Massachusetts. But we’re lucky! The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is providing pollinator garden starter kits free of charge at various locations around the state this June called, ‘Growing Wild for Pollinators’. See Growing Wild Massachusetts for information on what nursery will be providing pollinator kits and to find an event near you.

Planting seeds and watching them grow is healthy but did you know that it also helps our planet? Over the past winter, I began learning more about pollinator plants and the vital role they play in our environment. You may have heard how bees have been affected by climate change and habitat loss. But it’s also due to the loss of native plants and the spread of invasive plant species as well. And it’s not only bees that have been affected: insects, hummingbirds, butterflies, and yes, even bats. All of these play an important role in pollinating our plants. For example, soon we will be able to enjoy fresh (and local!) strawberries. If not for pollinators doing their work, we wouldn’t have them! Strawberries are just one of many plants that need to be pollinated in order to produce fruit or vegetables. Those tomatoes I was talking about; they need to be pollinated too. Enjoy planting season and trying the fruits (and veggies) of all of your hard work!

As always, thanks for visiting us. We enjoy the company!

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