Leslie Wade, community garden coordinator for the Charleston Parks Conservancy, offers a few basic steps to growing your own vegetables and herbs.

❑ Sunshine: Choose a spot that gets six to eight hours of sun daily.veggies

❑ Water: Learn about the water needs of the plants you’re growing. For example, once established, herbs do not need to be watered as regularly as vegetable plants.

❑ Fertilize: Use organic fertilizers such as composted manure, worm castings, bone meal, blood meal, seaweed, and guano.

❑ Drainage: Plants need to breathe. Add compost to the soil or rocks in the bottom of a container so the roots don’t suffocate and rot.

❑ Grow what you love: If you won’t eat tomatoes every day, don’t grow them. If you love salads, use a heat-tolerant variety of lettuce like “buttercrunch” bibb or “little gem” romaine. Herbs are also a fragrant garden addition and can be added to just about any dish.

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