Create a Healthy & Edible Garden

Renter-Friendly

Creating an edible garden of herbs, fruits or vegetables can be good for your family, community and the environment. Here are some tips to think about while you get started:

  • Test Your Soil: It may be important to test your soils before you get started. Oftentimes harmful pollutants like lead can be found in soil, and these can be transferred into food sources affecting young children and pets if exposed. Visit this blog from Cornell University on how to test your soil.  
  • Fertilize with Compost: Adding and mixing rich compost to your vegetable or herb garden will make the soil and your food healthy and nutritious. Learn more from our Compost section. Also, remember to mulch, learn more here.
  • Try "Companion" Planting: Some plant pairings can be mutually beneficial because they help regulate pests or provide nutrients to their neighbor. For example, basil can repel insects that harm tomatoes, oregano, and asparagus. Thyme can repel cabbage worms and other harmful pests, while also attracting honeybees to your garden. 
  • Use Local Resources: Talk with your city or county government departments for information regarding seasonal planting tips, local growing zones, and upcoming free gardening workshops hosted by local groups. 

For more information check out what USDA has to say about fruits, vegetables and herbs.