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Column: Did you plant your garden?

An opinion piece on the start of gardening season.
Gardening can bring a lot of joy.

Did you plant your garden on the long weekend in May?

If you did, the results should be showing by now with little sprouts breaking the ground to catch the rays of sunshine.

For years, I did not understand why my mom would soak some of her seeds the night before planting, but I understand now.

This will help the seeds to germinate quicker and use less water to get them started.

I have wondered over the years why people do not have a garden, as fresh produce is good for you and is so inexpensive.

Excuses I have heard include: they are so much work; I do not have the space, nor do I have the time; and I hate pulling weeds. Yes, they are excuses to me.

There are many who hate gardening. I will admit, it is not the greatest job, but the end results are amazing.

Weeds, we all hate them and can do without. Seriously what is a thistle good for?

I have learned to plant my rows close. Yes, at the beginning it is a little tough with the rototiller, but once plants begin to grow, it keeps the weeds down.

Each day I will clean a few rows and it becomes easier than trying to weed the whole garden at one time.

Space, I am lucky to have the space at our home, but we did not always have the space to plant a garden.

Flower beds turned into vegetable gardens. I still had a few flowers for colour, but onions, beets and carrots were planted in between.

Planters were filled with tomatoes, and we even did potatoes that way, and they turned out great.

Time can be a factor, or is it? Ten minutes a day can easily clean a few rows. When my kids were young, they helped with the garden, but not to the point they hated it. My daughter still loves to garden and has her own small space for one.

A person makes the time for the things they enjoy, but to me a garden is something that is important. This feeds one’s family with wholesome food.

A garden saves so much on the grocery bill, and with the rising costs of everything, every little bit helps.

Over the years, we have found that our tomatoes do best on the east side of the house and peas love the cool soil and can be planted as soon as the frost is out of the ground. Carrots and beets also enjoy cooler weather and only need six hours of sun.

I was fortunate to have my mom teach me how to can and preserve vegetables, and my daughter is taught the same values. I still learn from others as there are always new ways to do things.

I love the feeling of having my freezer and canning shelves filled with food that I prepared. No additives, which is also healthy.

When I have what I need for my family, I give the rest away.

Nothing annoys me more than when people let their garden go to waste, when there are people who will gladly take it. I have my people that I give to.

I love to give my produce to people that actually use it, and do not let it rot in their fridge. After all I could just let it rot in my garden and it would be good for the soil.

I frankly think it is rude to do this, as I worked to grow this food and so did many other people who give their garden produce away.

So, the question is, did you plant your garden this year? If you have not done so yet, you still have time, as I planted mine as late as June 15 to enjoy the goodness of fresh homegrown produce.

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