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What and When: Growing A Garden in 2016

Fun animal friend courtesy of Laurie Adams/Fantasia Mosaics

So you're ready to pig out on your own fruits and veggies this year. Where to start? 
  • One spot recommended to us when we joined the Winterfield Community Garden is the North Carolina Cooperative Extension. They have a range of planting guides -- essentially charts that tell you what to plant and when. They even have detailed guides that recommend certain varieties of plants and seeds that grow particularly well for our area (Piedmont North Carolina, or Zone 7a).
  • Search Facebook for gardening groups in your area. One we like locally is Grow Share Charlotte. Post photos of the worms in your garden, the colors of your tomatoes, or anything that's stumping you as you start out. People are generally friendly and like to share tips and best practices.
  • Read up. Seattle Tilth puts out this great book Your Farm in the City, and we've used the Guide to North Carolina Vegetable Gardening. Visit your local library branch or rack up on Amazon. (BONUS: If you buy on Amazon Smile here, a portion of the purchase price is donated to our community garden.)
  • Join a community garden! You'll swap seeds, empathize when it rains (or when the sun boils your poor seedlings), talk shop about all kinds of gardening stuff, and gain friends.
  • Just go for it. Seeds generally aren't that expensive. If you have those, a patch of dirt in a spot that gets solid sunlight, plus a water source, start planting when the time's right and have some fun.  
Planning to get in the dirt this year? Let us know in the comments section what you want to grow!

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