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Pot gardening even drug enforcers can recommend

Being jobless isn't necessarily a bad thing. There's a huge number of millionaires who started making their first few hundred bucks right in their own homes. And being a stay-at-home mom (or dad!) doesn't automatically translate to not being able to make valuable financial contributions.

The cottage industry has been an underrated way of breezing through hard home economic times. Although a little home-based business project isn't likely to yield significant wealth until after a while — partnered with strong-will and patience — it could alleviate some strains on the family budget.

A vegetable garden in the backyard, for example, won’t bring home enough money to pay for a month’s worth of meals or the mortgage but it could mean saving a few extra bucks by not coughing up cash at the grocery store for a bundle of spinach or a bag of tomatoes.

No backyard? Not an excuse! You can grow vegetables in pots and planters on your rooftop, balcony, the sidewalk or alleyway. Not only is container gardening a viable option for everyone with limited spaces, it is a particularly good idea for people with physical disabilities because it makes gardening more accessible and the garden easier to tend.

While container gardening is no rocket science, experts say there are ways to growing vegetables in pots and planters a success.

First, gardeners are encouraged to select the biggest pot or planter your space could accommodate. Seasoned container gardeners say small containers dry out more quickly. They advise gardeners to take into consideration the size, look, weight and depth of the pots and/or planters. The Gardener’s Supply Company says “the deeper the pot, the larger the reservoir of moist soil and the less often you’ll need to water.”

The location of the pots and planters depend on the sunlight needs of the plants. Most vegetables require six hours of sunlight every day while others such as salad greens and herbs can get by with less, according to the Gardener’s Supply Company. Also, plants should be placed in a protected location where the wind doesn't batter and dry out their foliage.

Experts also advise against filling pots and planters with garden soil or store-bought potting soil. Kathy LaLiberte wrote that containers should be filled with a "soilless" blend that will retain lots of moisture and resist compaction.

She added that vegetables require a consistent supply of water, also pointing out that fertilizers are very important when growing vegetables in pots and planters because growing medium in the container has few nutrients.

Experts also say it is best to combine plants that have a similar need for water, sunlight and fertilizer.

What will you get out growing your own vegetables? Let’s say your family consumes about two packages of salad greens a week at $5 per package, that’s a savings of $40 a month or $480 a year. If the monetary savings won’t convince you, will eating fresh — that’s free from harmful pesticides commercial growers use — cut the deal?

Not a big fresh greens muncher? Chances are, there’s a farmer’s market in your area where your produce will sell like hotcakes.

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