Alex Šilbajoris - Technical Writer, Technical Editor, Research Specialist
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I grew up helping my mother to grow flowers and vegetables. I have several years of experience in institutional groundskeeping. If you know what a split brake pedal is, you will understand.
Today I grow my own vegetables ranging from peppers to potatoes to herbs. Did I mention peppers? I love peppers. I grow sunflowers just for the sake of the bees.
I like having dill and garlic chives as self-perpetuating nuisance weeds.
Growing potatoes is very easy, and it's the best thing that can happen to a patch of garden. Try it yourself when you have some potatoes that have been sitting too long and are starting to sprout. Simply give them a respectful burial, and hill them up as they grow. There is something magical about breaking soil to reveal food.
These are "Rose Apple" fingerlings. I like to grow varieties that I can't easily find in stores. I do the same thing with peppers.
Grow your own herbs. Depending on your local climate, they might be perennials that you can harvest year after year. My herb bed lies alongside my patio and I can go pick some, just a few steps away from the kitchen.
From left to right, these are onions, sage, rosemary, more sage, basil, flat parsley and curly parsley. Not shown are the two kinds of mint which I planted, knowing full well that once established, it can never be eradicated.
And then, there are the rain gardens, and I have enough material about those to make a page of their own. I suggest you search the Web with "rain garden" + your location, to see what people are doing in your area.
Consider setting up a rain barrel to catch your roof runoff, and using that free water instead of chlorinated tap water that you pay for, to water your gardens. This is a 65-gallon barrel that will fill with less than an inch of rain.