Gardening 101 With Mary

Mary Korte
544 days ago.

Looking To Get Your Start Gardening? Check Out Mary’s Advice

From about the beginning of April through June, I get an itch, an itch to plant things! I think it’s a throw back to all of those years on the farm.   I can’t go to a Walmart, Target, Lowes, or even the grocery store without wanting to buy half the plants there!

I am sure some of you share my obsession! There are so many things you can do with even a very small size piece of dirt. There are tons of plants that have now been created to produce prolifically and yet grow in a compact space. You can grow enough tomatoes and peppers to make some kicking salsa with just two or three of each kind of plant. So many of the traditional vegetables have been developed to even grow in pots on your patio! I saw sweet corn developed to grow in a pot in the Burpee catalog! Check this out! 

What’s a seed catalog? For gardeners, this is like a catalog of expensive shoes to a shoe shopper!   Maybe I could get those? Do they come in the size I need, or are they too big?   Maybe those are too showy?   Creating a great garden is a lot like creating that perfect closet full of shoes. Do those plants go together? Will they interfere with the others? Will my cantaloupe taste like cucumbers if I plant the vines next to each other? So many things to consider!  Check out Henry Fields and Gurneys for other great seed catalogs.

Volunteers congregate in a community garden. Call it Gardening 101. Photo courtesy of Gateway Greening
Gardening 101: Volunteers congregate in a community garden. Photo courtesy of Gateway Greening

Don’t have enough space where you live to do your planting desires justice? Check out your neighborhood improvement group or gardening club. There are a ton of gardening clubs in the Greater STL area. Some are for gardening in general and some are focused on specific items like herbs, dahlias, or roses. Not sure where to start looking? Check out the Gateway Gardening club website or of course our friends at Missouri Botanical Garden.

Really need some big space to make your gardening dreams happen? Join a community garden! There are 11 community gardens in the St. Louis County area sponsored by the Community Action Agency of St. Louis County.   Also check out the Gateway Greening for more resources. Thinking of starting one in your own community? These guys have great resources to help you get started, set up policies, and avoid pitfalls. Does your apartment community have a bit of flat land that they aren’t utilizing? Check with your apartment manager about the possibility of creating a community garden at your property and volunteer to coordinate the members. We love it when someone else coordinates!

Afraid to go crazy gardening because you don’t know what you will do with all of that food? I mean really, my freezer is only so big and I don’t have enough cabinet space for everything I can grow! Fresh produce is a way to make friends and influence co-workers! Take the extras to work and let everyone help themselves. Offer it to friends and family. Check with your local kids summer program, especially those through the schools or churches. They are always trying to do more and offer healthy options on limited budgets. If you belong to a religious group, check with your group leader and see if there are any people in the organization that could benefit from your abundance and assist in brokering that offering to them. Many local food banks can take fresh produce as can soup kitchens and charitable organizations that feed the hungry. Check with the St. Louis Foodbank or Second Harvest Food Bank  for more information.

kids carrots

Gardening is a great way to meet your neighbors, network, and get the family involved in something that’s not electronic. Some kids don’t even know how carrots are grown!  What are you waiting for? Go buy those seeds and plants you wanted and get GROWING!

Brought to you by Mills Apartments

Mary Korte

Mary is a proud farm girl with some city attitude and mom of a sports dude in training. She loves travel, sports, food, wine and combining all of that with family and friends!

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