DENVER, CO – Growing your own groceries in Denver doesn’t always mean needing a huge yard or garden space. Possibilities to reduce the “food print” – what it takes to get food from the farm to your plate – and to save money are possible everywhere, as long as containers are available, say gardening experts.

Container gardening is an affordable way to bring vegetables to the table for Denver residents who are struggling to get food on their tables during the pandemic. An estimated 42 million Americans experienced food insecurity during the pandemic, including an estimated 75,000 people in Denver.

Lettuce leaves, radishes, tomatoes and peppers are among the many healthy foods that can be grown in pots, shows a video from the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Although all fruits and vegetables grow differently, they all need good soil, right sunlight, and the right amount of water, says the old farmer’s almanac.

“In addition to providing 5 hours or more of full sun, watering is vital,” the instructions say.

Container gardens can also add the extra flavor for heartier meals.

Basil, chives, and thyme are among the other herbs that “love growing in pots,” wrote Good Housekeeping, offering tips on container gardening.

Using the available space can be a challenge, however, so using window sills and hanging baskets can go a long way towards creating more space for containers.

Growing everything in a container can be considered “a work of art that can be made in a container,” Joan Murray, a professional gardener and specialist in container gardening for more than 20 years, told Patch.

“You can make your own rules and do so to pacify yourself,” said Murray, co-owner of the City Grange Gardening Center, which has two locations in Chicago.

Basil, oregano, and parsley are among the plants that grow well in Denver, according to the Gardenia Gardens website, which shows which plants grow in the different climates of the United States. Hardiness zones are determined by the average winter temperature in an area; Denver is in Zone 5.

The 2021 gardening season is expected to be busy, as is the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic and associated closure orders. The pandemic led to a “global horticultural boom” for 2020, according to an Agriculture Week report, as seed companies saw unprecedented interest.

Burpee Seed Co. sold more seeds than any other month in its 144-year history in March 2020 when the pandemic began, Agriculture Week reported, and Johnny’s Selected Seed saw sales jump 270 percent during the 2020 gardening season.

The brisk semen sales don’t just reflect an interest in a pastime that makes social distancing easier. Experts say gardening is therapeutic.

“There are certain very stabilizing forces in gardening that can ground us when we are feeling insecure, insecure and scared,” Professor Joel Flagler of Rutgers University told Agriculture Week. “It is these predictable results and predictable rhythms of the garden that are very comforting right now.”

Even before the pandemic, mental health experts pointed to gardening as a way to deal with stress.

Gardening provides exercise and promotes healthier diets, but it can also reduce the worries of people who consider themselves perfectionists, said psychologist Seth Gillihan.

“Given the lack of control we have, gardening can be a great antidote to perfectionism,” wrote Gillihan on a 2019 Psychology Today blog. that you cannot predict – insect invasions, bad weather, hungry rodents. “

With so many things out of their control, perfectionism is a waste of time, he said, so gardeners may wonder “why bother” to be perfect.

When gardening with a container, perfection may still be out of reach, but the gardener certainly has more control.

Murray suggests the age-old method of “thriller, filler and spiller” when planning.

The “thriller,” she said, is the “eye-catching focal point,” with the “filler” as the middle-class plants circling the thriller and the “spiller” as something like ivy covering the front runs down the pot.

“It’s not the only way to be successful, but if you follow it you will be successful,” she said.

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Patch has partnered with Feeding America to raise awareness for millions of Americans at risk of starvation. Feeding America, which supports 200 food banks across the country, estimates that around 42 million Americans may not have enough nutritious foods to eat in 2021 due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This is a social project run by Patch; Feeding America receives 100 percent of donations. Find out how to donate in your community or find a pantry near you.