Edible Garden Checklist, Continued
Pest Control
Vegetables don't like to have their leaves watered—this encourages pests, which will move up into the plants from the ground. To keep aphids and other flying insects away, just spray your plants once a week with a mixture of 1 quart water to 1 teaspoon organic dish soap. This mixture is identical to the organic insecticidal soap you can buy in the gardening store, for much less cash.

How to deal with larger pests in your garden.

Choose Wisely
Many people don't put enough thought into what to plant in their gardens. It's easy to know which plants are right for you—just think about what you and your family like to eat. Plant things that are difficult to find or a bit expensive at the supermarket. Don't waste space on things that are difficult to grow and easy to buy, like garlic and onions, which must be replanted after you pick them. Instead, choose prolific plants such as tomatoes, squash, zucchini, beans, sweet peas, berries and almost any herb. The more you pick, the more they produce.

What kind of gardener are you? Take this quiz to find out!

Some beneficial flowers will help deter pests and add color to your edible garden. Some choices are marigolds, nasturtiums, petunias, purple coneflowers, sweet alyssum, cosmos and sunflowers.

Pot Luck
You don't need to have a yard to have a vegetable garden. Almost anything can be planted in pots on a deck, stoop or windowsill. Cherry tomatoes, blueberries, avocados and herbs flourish in small containers. Think vertical too—lots of vines do great in small spaces or in pots. Create a trellis and grow beans, cucumbers, raspberries. You can even find "dwarf"-size fruit trees that do great in pots too. There's no excuse for not having your own edibles!

Container? Windowsill? Community garden? Connect with the gardening method that suits you.

Nature Made
Use organic or natural fertilizer instead of synthetic or chemical fertilizer. Natural and organic fertilizers are made from composted or dehydrated plant and animal materials, whereas synthetic fertilizers require tremendous amounts of fossil fuel energy to produce. Organic fertilizers don't create the health or environmental hazards that are associated with chemical fertilizers.


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