Due to the closure of the U.S. Capitol Campus to the public, the U.S. Botanic Garden continues to have altered operations. Bartholdi Fountain and Gardens and the Terrace Gardens are open while the Conservatory and gated outdoor gardens are temporarily closed. Please monitor www.USBG.gov for updates on operating status. Many resources can be accessed online, including educational materials, virtual tours, and online programs. Connect with resources from home at www.USBG.gov/AtHome.
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.