May: Let's Garden


Last summer, 10-year-old Barrett fell in love with gardening and rushed to the plot each morning to do weeding and watering chores. Those tasks were secondary to the thrill of finding new zucchini growing under their leafy vines or picking a perfectly ripe tomato. Photo Credit: B&G Productions

Growing your own food can be immensely satisfying, yet it can be intimidating for first-time gardeners and even challenging for those with the greenest thumbs. Tomatoes are often feast or famine, broccoli and cauliflower are fussy, and herbs can quickly take over a space.

With thoughtful planning and advice from experts, urban dwellers and those with vast spaces can master the art of gardening. The recipe for a bountiful garden combines equal parts of soil quality, proper planting and fertilizing, suppressing weeds and pests, and proper harvesting along with a dash of help from Mother Nature.

Cristen Clark is well-versed in agriculture. She lives on a farm near Runnells, where her family raises pigs and grows soybeans and corn; however, she was a gardening novice. The Iowa Food & Family Project recently teamed up Clark with the professionals at Earl May Garden Centers to learn how to grow a bountiful garden.

In the videos, dig in and create your own garden this year! You’ll discover tips and tricks for planting plentiful produce, growing blooming flowers and keeping pests at bay. Plus, dive into the spring issue of Fresh Pickings magazine for even more ideas, including planting things kids love to grow and how to create a haven for pollinators.