Hello Amy. Finally, spring is around the corner and I want to start an edible garden in containers. Do you have any suggestions on what I should include to take advantage of the growing season to eat healthier? Thanks!

Spring is a wonderful time to start eating healthy! I am a huge fan of growing your own fruits and veggies too. There is something so satisfying about going into your garden in the evening, picking a few ingredients and then using them to create a wonderful and healthy meal for your family. First I would assess how much space you have. If you live in a house with a backyard, then you could create a big garden to house a wide variety of produce. If you have a smaller space, you could build a small 5 × 5 garden planter box like I did last year (I grew basil, cilantro, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, cucumbers, and a variety of lettuce!). If you don’t have a backyard or are very limited in space, then using various size containers can also work to grow fresh produce. If you have a balcony, check with your landlord to make sure that you can either bolt planters/anchor them down somehow just in case a big wind comes around. The next thing to determine is access to sunlight. Now find the seeds and the planters! Seeds can be found in any garden shop and almost anything can be used as a planter. When I was in my college apartment, I chose coffee cans and an old kid’s beach bucket to act as my planters. I made sure there were permanent drainage holes in these and I was able to grow a few jalapeno peppers, basil and cilantro! You have to choose planters that are size appropriate, however. You will need a lot of space if you plan on growing tomatoes or cucumbers, as their leaves tend to snake every which way as they grow. Last year I got a lattice backing for my garden planter and I used that to help support my tomato plants. Now be sure the plants get a lot of sunlight, water and love. I challenge you to pick garden veggies that you are not all that familiar with and research fun and exciting recipes to incorporate them into. Bring any extra vegetables that you grow into work and you will fast become the hit of the office! Enjoy!

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