As the weather warms, it’s a great time to be outside doing yard work and your garden ready for springtime planting. According to the U.S. Botanic Garden
, “whether you live in a single family dwelling, a townhouse or an apartment, if you have an area with sun, you can grow your own herbs, fruits and vegetables.” Fresh fruits and vegetables can make a great meal all summer long.
Here are the USBG’s
tips to make your kitchen garden grow:
- Season: Think cool, hot, cool. In early spring and fall, plant spinach, peas, lettuce, onions and other plants that need cool nights. Peppers, squash, tomatoes, green beans, melons, okra and corn need warm nights, so plant these after the last spring frost.
- Use space wisely. Consider height and breadth of the mature plants when thinning or planting seedlings. Crowding will reduce yield. Bush varieties are more compact, and pole or vine varieties use vertical space effectively.
- Garden organically. Pesticides kill living organisms on your vegetables, in the soil and in the water. You don't want your family ingesting pesticides in the food they eat. Lots of alternatives are available, including beneficial insects (like lacewings), mulching, removing pests by hand, spraying off pests with water or choosing non-toxic compounds.
- Monitor your watering. Water in early morning or late evening to reduce water loss to evaporation.
- Use ergonomic garden tools that help wrists maintain a neutral position when the user is seated or kneeling at ground level. ($12 - $40)
- Make lawn chores easier by using a garden kneeler/sitter. The foam padding provides comfort and the sturdy locking steel frame handles assist the user in standing or kneeling. Some fold up for easy storage, while others have wheels for ease of movement. ($33 - $90)
- Rakes with ergonomic handles and which “grab” and lift the leaves from the ground to deposit into the bag enable the user to work without bending. ($26 - $50)
- Minimize bending and lifting associated with raking and yard work by using a lawn bag holder. Simply place a standard bag into this holder for greater convenience. ($8 - $32)
- Wear cut-resistant gloves to protect hands from cuts and scrapes while pruning, or working with hand tools. ($8 - $30)
How do you make your garden and yard work more safe and comfortable? Post your tips and ideas below.
Please note that the inclusion of a product in this blog does not constitute a product endorsement or warranty by The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. You are advised to evaluate for yourself the appropriateness of any product or idea listed.