Schedule Change

On Friday, September 19, the U.S. Botanic Garden's outdoor National Garden will close early at 5 p.m. It will reopen for regularly scheduled hours on Saturday, September 20 at 10 a.m.

Growing a Kitchen Garden

Whether you live in a single family dwelling, a townhouse or an apartment, if you have an area with sun, you can grow your own herbs, fruits and vegetables. Here are some tips to make your kitchen garden grow:

Season: Think cool, hot, cool. In early spring and fall, plant spinach, peas, lettuce, onions and other plants that need cool nights. Peppers, squash, tomatoes, green beans, melons, okra and corn need warm nights, so plant these after the last spring frost.

Use space wisely. Consider height and breadth of the mature plants when thinning or planting seedlings. Crowding will reduce yield. Bush varieties are more compact, and pole or vine varieties use vertical space effectively.

Garden organically. Pesticides kill living organisms on your vegetables, in the soil and in the water. You don't want your family ingesting pesticides in the food they eat. Lots of alternatives are available, including beneficial insects (like lacewings), mulching, removing pests by hand, spraying off pests with water or choosing non-toxic compounds.

Monitor your watering. Water in early morning or late evening to reduce water loss to evaporation.