Saving Green by Growing Greens

Friday, February 20th 2009, 6:05 pm
By: News 9

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- People are turning to their green thumbs in this tough economy, and the number of vegetable gardeners in Oklahoma is growing.

Matt Detoy started planning his first large scale garden months ago.

"I took down about 3, 4 trees you can see around the perimeter here so I can get more light into the area," Detoy said.

Now, he's planting potatoes. Red Lasoda and Yukon Gold are the first he's going to try, and he's doing it because of the state of the economy.

"Who knows where we're going to go with that. The dollar may...I hope none of it comes to pass, but you know, we may need to have our own food," the new gardener said.

He's not the only Oklahoman with the idea. Horticulturists in the metro said people want to get their own hands in the soil, and beginning gardening classes are overflowing.

TLC's Linda Shackelford is seeing the trend at her garden center too.

"We're having a lot of people ask a lot of questions and are beginning to pick up vegetables," Shackelford said.

She said mid February to mid March is the time to plant not only potatoes and onions, but also leafy veggies.

"There's several seeds; your radishes, spinach, carrots, beets, lettuce and your peas can go ahead and be planted now," Shackelford said.

The colder season is perfect for the hearty vegetables Matt Detoy is planting now.

"Just the feeling that you've grown something and now you'll eat it at the dinner table. I'm hoping I'll have enough rotation here, I'll make my entire salad, some potatoes on the side," Detoy said.

To learn more about this cost friendly and healthy way to make it through the tough economy, the Oklahoma State Extension service has information about gardening online.