The time is ripe to start gardening

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    By AMY ISOM

    Spring is almost here and gardens will soon be in full bloom. Now is the time to start planting — and students can revel in the joy of gardening just as much as other people.

    Many gardeners agree all people have to do to get involved in gardening is to be willing to get their hands dirty. Scott Engh, owner of the Sundance Nursery in Orem, said there are many different flowers that can be planted now. Even if the winter chill hasn’t quit biting, pansies, perennials and primrose can all be put outside and still live through a cool night.

    Cold weather vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, peas and onions also adapt better to a cooler environment. As for the rest, Engh said summer beauties can be planted inside now and transferred to rich soil mid-June.

    Where many students don’t have plots of ground to plant, Engh said students can start indoors with a lot of light and good ventilation. A pot of rich soil with a good compost mixture and fertilizer for food will make most plants stand tall.

    “With a little bit of practice and a lot of information, students can be gardeners, too. Basically, you just have to jump in and try it. It’s a trial and error process,” Engh said.

    Colleen Toone, employee of the Countryside Garden Center, suggested a balcony or doorstep as a good spot to set up a small garden.

    Toone also stressed the importance of caring for the plant once it’s been planted.

    “They have to be watered and taken care of,” she said. “They’re like people. If we don’t get enough sunshine, we wilt. If we don’t get enough water, we wilt,” Toone said.

    Toone and others emphasized the necessity of gardening, not only as a stress-reliever, but as an integral part of appreciating many of God’s creations.

    “It’s really important, as busy as students are, to take time to stop and appreciate what God has done. Each flower is miraculous. Each plant is a miracle in itself — like a newborn baby,” Toone said.

    Toone said even if students don’t have the time or inclination to garden, to take time to look at the landscape that surrounds them.

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