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Want to cultivate a vegetable garden? Here are some tips to get started!

Vegetable garden

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(NaturalNews) Creating a vegetable garden is not only about enjoying tasty foods in a convenient manner but about having access to foods that are safe for consumption. Considering all of the pesticides that are typically used in growing the many vegetables that are sold in markets, taking control by growing them from the safety of one's own yard is the best bet for keeping health intact.

After all, Monsanto's herbicide known as Roundup, which is one of the most popular choices used to treat foods, uses glyphosate as its active ingredient. By now, many people are aware that glyphosate is linked to health hazards; in the last year, findings show that over half of food tested by the U.S. government for pesticide residues showed detectable levels of pesticides. Unfortunately though, testing for specific potential harms in foods is seemingly avoided; a USDA representative has even said that the test measures required for glyphosate are "extremely expensive... to do on an regular basis."(1)

Interestingly, Monsanto has asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to increase the levels of pesticides they deem tolerable and, therefore, safe for consumption.(1)

In an effort to circumvent the situation, why not consider growing a vegetable garden?

Here are some tips to get started.

Tips to grow your own vegetable garden

1. Plan

In the excitement to cultivate a vegetable garden, a lot of people dig, plant and then wait, sometimes with disappointing results.

According to University of Illinois horticulture educator Chris Enroth, that's why planning is crucial.

"Sometimes a location seems like the perfect site for a garden until you start digging and find the soil is like concrete," he said. "Or you start growing and realize the water supply is way out of reach. Now you're hauling buckets of water!"(2)

2. Test the soil

A simple soil test can make the difference between a vegetable garden that produces great food and one that doesn't. More importantly, understanding the nutrients in soil allows people to develop natural ways to improve it, rather than turning to store-bought fertilizers with less-than-desirable ingredients.

"If you are serious about growing good vegetables, you need to know the nutrient composition and basic properties of your soil," Enroth said. "Collect samples of soil from your proposed gardening sites, mix them together and bag them up to be sent to a nearby soil testing laboratory. ... Also make sure to specify to the soil lab you are a home vegetable gardener and would like the results tailored to your needs."(2)

A simple Internet search can help a person find a nearby soil testing lab.

3. Know sun versus shade

Like people, Enroth explains, "some of your veggies do like a bit of respite from the sun during the hottest part of the day." However, it's important that sun isn't entirely avoided; about six hours of it is needed for plants to make food for themselves, as less than that can deprive the vegetables of needed nutrients.(2)

4. Think about water sources and availability

Water conservation is often on many people's radar screen, as is the desire to provide vegetables with proper levels of water while also making the watering process as easy as possible on a gardener.

"Ideally you want some form of permanent irrigation system," Enroth suggested. "I highly recommend some type of drip or soaker hose system. Drip irrigation works great to minimize water lost to evaporation and applies water very slowly so runoff does not occur. Plus, drip irrigation takes a lot of the guesswork out of watering."(2)

5. Use the right tools

To create and maintain a vegetable garden, the right tools are helpful. Essentials include a pair of pruners, sharp shovel, a trowel, collinear hoe, a wheelbarrow and a bucket (for easy carrying of tools).

Keep these tips in mind when starting a vegetable garden. Consideration of these tips now helps you be ready for an enjoyable vegetable gardening experience in the future.

Gardener Anne Costello feels that there are many benefits of gardening. "I always feel better getting outside and digging in the dirt," she said. "Plus, gardening is a solitary, meditative experience that I crave." And New York resident Gayle Bowe says that she gardens because it provides her family with "nothing but pure, untainted goodness."(3)

Which, we're certain, is a lot more than the folks at Monsanto can offer.

Sources for this article include:

(1) http://www.reuters.com

(2) http://news.aces.illinois.edu

(3) http://www.prevention.com

(4) http://science.naturalnews.com

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