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How to Plant an Edible Garden

Have you ever planted your own vegetable garden? Get top secrets for gardening success from Tony Kienitz, garden consultant and author of “The Year I Ate My Yard.”

Yes! Compost can transform an average garden into a spectacular one. And it is a great, natural alternative to chemical fertilizers. You can make a compost pile in your garden soil using kitchen scraps, yard clippings, leaves or twigs.

A good rule for deciding what to plant is to grow what you eat. If you love tomatoes, grow them. Love eggplant? Grow it! Plant the vegetables that you and your family eat, you’ll enjoy your garden more.

It’s all about location. Plant your garden where you’ll see it, not behind a garage. Years ago, veggie gardens were called the “dooryard” because they were directly outside the door. Keep it close and you’re bound to use it more often.

Yes. Try to plant things that work together as a team. Basil and garlic planted under a sprawling tomato is an ideal example. Shorter plants grown under or near taller plants create a healthy combination. Peas, carrots and lettuce, or beans, cucumbers and sunflowers make great teams, too.

Of course! Flowers can make weeding seem like less work, they add color, and they will help attract beneficial insects and birds.

Absolutely. Perennial edibles, like fruit trees, kiwi vines, blueberries and prickly pear cacti make great additions to any garden—plus, the “fruits of your labor” will grow year after year.

How to Plant an Edible Garden

Respiratory Treatment Center National Jewish Health advises gardeners to reduce exposure to pollen by changing clothes when coming indoors, and taking a shower and washing hair right away.