The Gardener's Way: Start growing your vegetables today | VIDEO

“This is my year. I have talked about it and this year I am really going to do it. I’m going to grow my own vegetables.”

Is this you? I hear this over and over again. There certainly is a renewed interest in vegetable gardening. Many people are tired of the high prices of vegetables — especially organically grown ones, and the impact on the environment that the commercial production of our food causes.

However, if you have never grown your own veggies, or you have wanted to grow organically, you may not know how. Maybe you are wondering what new products or techniques are available.

Every two weeks over the next few months, The Gardener’s Way will provide you with valuable information learned from more than 40 years of gardening here in Federal Way and as a Master Gardener. The Federal Way Senior Center Community Garden will be our laboratory/demonstration site. This beautiful organic garden is a living example where you can come and see how to grow fruits. We have 32 dwarf fruit trees, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. We grow over 30 different kinds of vegetables and many different varieties of each.

You can even watch our honeybees at work. Although we have challenges with slugs and bad bugs, we are able to minimize their impact using safe, organic gardening practices.

At the community garden, we grow all of our plants from seed. We are fortunate to have a greenhouse (16’x8’) and our first seeds of onions, lettuce, broccoli and cabbage will go into the seed trays this week. Tomatoes and pepper seeds will be started in a couple of weeks. In my next article, I will share how you can get your seeds started without a greenhouse.

The community garden is located at the Federal Way Senior Center at 4016 S. 352nd St. off Military Road. This all-volunteer project has been designed to not only be a productive garden (10,000 pounds of produce last summer), but also a demonstration garden where people can learn and take information back to use in their own garden. All of the produce from the garden is given away to needy members of our community.

Want some hands-on experience in the garden? Come join as a volunteer. You’ll love it. No matter your level of expertise, physical capability or available time, you can be involved in the garden. Contact me and we will develop a plan. Kids are welcome too.

Next article: Starting seeds, building soil, getting ahead of the slugs and bad bugs.

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