Planting potatoes in your garden

Planting potatoes in your garden

Planting potatoes in your garden allows you to cook with locally grown food. It also saves you money.

All farmers market produce may look appealing and taste better than you can imagine, but most of it still costs money and comes from a very long distance away. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if you want to cook with ingredients that are better for you than those shipped in from the far corners of the earth, we can help.

That's where our planting at home program comes in. The power to help build a sustainable, local food system starts right at your back door.

Meet the Kit

The Leaf offers a comprehensive look at the benefits of growing at home — from health to economics — with everything you need to get started.

The first step is planning. Every piece of the kit, from seeds to soil, is easy to locate in your garden, and each item comes with a full list of the exact place and time you need to plant, sow or harvest it.

Kit ingredients:

Planting at home is great for soil health and, yes, plant health.

Whether you are starting from scratch or are returning to your garden after years away, planting at home is a great way to use your space, improve your soil and harvest your own food.

Here are three advantages to planting at home:

Build a more fertile soil. By planting, you are helping your garden naturally enrich its soil, which encourages the growth of beneficial microorganisms. Your garden will also benefit from the stabilization and the organic matter from the soil’s fertilizer.

Better health. Gardening is an excellent exercise for your heart and is linked to a decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and even death. New evidence also shows that gardening helps people eat more fruit and vegetables, which boosts our chances of enjoying a longer and healthier life.

Save money. By growing your own food, you avoid spending money on food that is imported or grown far from home. Besides, we’d rather spend our money on taking our children to the local park and letting them play, rather than on costly packaging and shipping.

The kit starts with a planting guide — a convenient A-to-Z chart that offers detailed information on different vegetables and offers space for notes. It also contains seeds and recommendations on the exact place and time to plant. All of the planting guidelines are written so you won't miss a beat as you start planting.

A closer look at each vegetable offers extra guidance:

Some varieties are better suited for greenhouse gardening, while others prefer cooler weather.

Each recommendation includes the exact time to plant as well as what day of the week you should plant it and the depth and space where you should plant each seed.

Each plant is assigned a beneficial association with the body, including the colors and tastes of fruits and vegetables, as well as how they relate to the seasons.

Each vegetable guide offers advice on the best way to grow it:

Space recommendations. Specific planting depth and recommended spacing are included, but you can also decide how far apart to space your plants, depending on your desired yield.

Light and temperature recommendations.

Nursery suggestions. Many nurseries recommend planting certain vegetables in specific soil types, so you can easily select a nursery that offers a great selection of your choice.

Composting or growing. Many varieties are available that have already been pre-composted and are ready to plant. You can also grow your vegetables in raised beds with minimal soil or pots.

As a gardener, there is no shortage of projects you could be undertaking. We are introducing you to the basics of gardening to make it easy to grow your own food from seed to harvest. Your farm's output will get better over time, and you will reap the many benefits.

The harvest begins with this easy-to-use seed starting mix:

Seed Starting Mix

Crop

Seed Starting Mix

Seeds

Grow radish

1 box of seed-starting mix

Start seeds

Grow beets

1 box of seed-starting mix

Start seeds

Grow spinach

1 box of seed-starting mix

Start seeds

Grow radishes

1 box of seed-starting mix

Start seeds

Grow lettuce

1 box of seed-starting mix

Start seeds

Grow cilantro

1 box of seed-starting mix

Start seeds

Grow pepper

1 box of seed-starting mix

Start seeds

Grow spinach

1 box of seed-starting mix

Start seeds

Grow lettuce

1 box of seed-starting mix

Start seeds

This seed-starting mix contains alfalfa, which provides the nitrogen your seedlings will need to help them grow and develop. It also includes vermiculite, which helps plants grow by giving the roots and leaves something to hold on to.

Some of our tips and ideas:

Make sure you plant seeds at the recommended depth and spacing.

Check your seedlings frequently for emerging roots, which indicates that the soil is not yet rich in nutrients. If your seedlings are struggling, it's likely they need more fertilizer.

You can keep your garden growing with these four times of the year to plant:

Spring: Mar and Apr

Summer: May to June

Fall: Sept to Oct

Winter: Nov to Mar

Those of you who garden during the cooler months know that there is plenty to keep you busy during the winter months. Plan on helping your garden grow a little longer, as some vegetables can be kept in the garden through the late fall and winter.

Vegetables that are not affected by cold temperatures include peppers, lettuce, spinach and beets. For some ideas on what to plant, take a look at the Planting Guide section of our kit.

Eggplant, for instance, can be planted until the ground freezes, then transplanted to a protected location in your garden. Peppers will