Vegetable gardens: A satisfying and healthy endeavor for all

TIP: Beginning gardeners should start small and work their way up as they gain experience.

TIP: Beginning gardeners should start small and work their way up as they gain experience. Photo by Porcshe Moran.

Plump tomatoes, crisp lettuce and crunchy cucumbers dance through the heads of hopeful gardeners who dream of a backyard bounty each year. Planting your own produce is a satisfying and healthy endeavor for both homeowners and apartment dwellers alike. As the weather warms up, spring is the time to prepare your vegetable plots.

There are three different phases of spring planting.

“Watch the overnight temperatures,” said Joan Penno, owner of Green Horizons Garden Center. “Many people tend to want to put tomatoes out too early. They won’t grow unless it is warm enough, and they frost easily. Cover plants with sheets if necessary.”

A successful garden will require a time commitment. Alice Longfellow, owner of Longfellow’s Garden Center, said gardeners should expect to spend a few minutes two to three times a week to tend to their vegetables which includes tasks like mulching, weeding and watering.

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Pick up the Sunday, March 25, 2012, edition of the News Tribune newspaper, or see the e-Edition, for the special Lawn and Garden/Home Improvement section.

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