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For flavor, for economy, or just for the sheer joy of gardening, more and more families are now raising their own produce. Many admit, though, that a backyard garden can entail back-breaking work. Ground has to be cleared and filled, fertilized and weeded, watered and worried over.
Isn't there an easier way to grow vegetables, herbs and fruits?
Instead of tearing up precious (or nonexistent) yard space, why not sow your crops in planters? Set them out on' back steps, patio, porch or balcony. For some plants, even 'a sunny windowsill will do. And soon you can have plants that are, literally, good enough to eat.
Lemons. oranges, strawberries, grapes - if you have a spot that gets at least a half day of full sun. you can grow these and lots of other fruits in planters.
Fruit plants require only a little extra care. Set them out in late spring, after any danger of frost has passed, and protect them from bugs and birds. In winter. grape and strawberry plants should be allowed to go dormant. Others, like the calamondin, can be moved inside by a sunny window in winter.
How to start a grapevine Basically, grapes call for the same planting techniques recommended for roses. Trim off only stiff roots that stick out over the Planter's perimeter, and set the plant so that its bud union will be level with - or above - the top of the Planter.
At the outset, you can stake a grapevine with a trellis. After the vines outgrow this, train them
to grow up a wall or along wires, as the one at right is doing.
Grow your own strawberries The key thing to remember about planting strawberries is that their crowns- the points at which stems and roots join - should be above the top of the Planting Medium. Set plants a little high in the Medium so that Decorative Stones will be level with the crowns. The plant should bloom and fruit the first year. During winter months, keep planters in a cool area which does not drop below freezing.