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Springtime marks the growing season. I have been gardening since I was a young girl. My mother has always had a green thumb and thankfully she passed that talent on to me. I have always been the one that purchases the “near death” clearance plants to see if I can bring them back to their beautiful pristine selves. I have been very successful!

I wanted to share one of my favorite projects held at the LifeSpan Center. It was the Master Gardeners Container Gardening Event.

When I was asked to help volunteer for this event I was all for it. However, when I found out what we would be doing, I will admit I had reservations on how it would turn out. We did a project called Grow Your Own Pizza, and if it has to do with pizza, I’m your girl!

The project involved growing three different plants in a 25-gallon bucket. COOL!

So, we lined up, drilled holes in the bottom of our containers. Then we put down a layer of old newspaper, next the soil, and a great deal of soil at that. Next step bring on the plants!

The first member of the pizza garden was a husky cherry tomato plant. I wasn’t sure this would produce at all since tomato plants take a lot of room and a great deal of water. Next up was a pepper plant, and you could choose from many colors. I happened to choose a purple pepper plant. Last, but of course not least we added a basil plant. Now granted this created a very full container, the seedlings were in very close proximity to each other.

I would go out and check on my pizza in the making every morning and every evening after work. I purchased a small container of Miracle Grow. In just one week my plants tripled in size!

Within one month I had enough husky cherry tomatoes to provide for my family. The peppers took the longest to mature. The basil was large and in great abundance! I made pesto and basil oil regularly.

I enjoyed the benefits until October when my precious plants were finally done producing from the Illinois cold.

I will be making a container garden myself this year and I will be trying out different types of vegetables this time. Tomatoes are in high demand at my house, so I will probably have a few varieties. I will also be planting radishes, mini cucumbers, mini peppers, jalapeños, green onions, and a small potato pot.

I highly suggest container gardening for anyone who has not tried it. Give it a try I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the results.

The LifeSpan Center is located at 11021 E. County Road 800N, Charleston. The telephone number is 217-639-5150. Come join us each weekday at noon for “Lunch at LifeSpan.”

Peace Meals, sponsored by Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, are served Monday through Friday at a suggested donation of $3.50. To register, reserve a lunch or learn more, call 217-345-1800.

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