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Use Containers

Use ContainersIf you lack a backyard, stick to containers. With the exception of some root crops and asparagus, most vegetables grow just fine in them. Tomatoes, green onions, peppers, beans, lettuce, and squash all fare particularly well.

Look for varieties bred to grow in confined spaces, such as Patio tomatoes, Topcrop green beans, and Bibb lettuce. As for what size container you need, use large ones (think whiskey barrel), which allow for companion planting and greater reserves of food and water. Small pots dry out quickly and don’t allow space for roots to grow. Whatever size you choose, make sure the container has holes at its base to allow for drainage.

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Test Your Soil

Test Your SoilKnowing the basics behind organic gardening can put you on the right path to creating your own Eden. All you need is patience, a willingness to get muddy, and this quick tip.

Before planting anything, first determine the measure of acidity or alkalinity (known as pH) of your soil with a home testing kit.

For most vegetables, the magic number is 6.5. Too acidic (on the low end of the 0-to-14 scale) or too alkaline (on the high end) and your plants won’t be able to access the soil’s nutrients. Boost your pH with a line spread, found at garden stores, or lower it with powdered sulfur. Seedlings can then be planted straight in the ground.