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More Families Starting Vegetable Gardens

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Published on May 9, 2008

Rising food costs are causing more families to start their own vegetable gardens at home.

"We're selling a lot more seeds for vegetables. We're selling a lot more plants and more people are asking, 'How do I make my plants grow in a garden?'" said Kent Maughan with the Soil Service Garden Center on Troost Avenue.

Maughan said he's getting more questions on start-up gardens and basic planting rules.

He also educates customers about the clay soil in Kansas City and how to make it more plant-friendly.

"Anything that we can add as far as hummus -- any material to break up the clay and lighten the soil -- the plants will be much happier," Maughan said.

Ben Johnson started up a garden last year and is expanding it this year. He planning to grow watermelon, spinach, strawberries, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Johnson said he started the garden for enjoyment and health benefits, but now he realizes it also helps another way.

"You hear about the falling dollar and the rising inflation, and every time I listen to that, I just dig a little more (in the garden)," Johnson said.

If you're interested in starting a garden but don't have a yard, you can start a "deck garden" and do your growing in containers.

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