Get out and garden

Ah, April in Chico. It’s not too hot and it’s not too cold. In fact, it’s just right for establishing a garden. So till your soil and get to planting.

A vegetable garden provides so many benefits, from the exercise you’ll get from tending it to the fresh, healthful produce you and your family will consume throughout the summer.

Keep in mind that gardening is good not only for you, but also for the environment. Having your own supply of veggies will keep you from purchasing mass-produced store-bought products that are transported hundreds—or thousands—of miles, depleting fossil fuels and creating carbon emissions.

Chico’s moderate spring temperatures, warm summers and good soil make the region an agricultural mecca. Take advantage of it. Many different varieties of veggies adapt extremely well to these conditions. Here are just a few to whet your appetite, along with some helpful tips:

Tomatoes: Thrive in full sun and do best with long, deep, infrequent soaks from a hose or drip system (keep the foliage dry).

Bell peppers: They often grow slowly, so be patient. Give them at least 18 inches of space.

Green beans: Make the most of your garden’s space by growing pole beans. Use a trellis or try building a teepee out of bamboo.

Cucumbers: Also prone to climbing, so let them. Harvest them as soon as they’re ripe for the best flavor.

Squash: Make sure to give them plenty of room to spread out; about four feet. Just a few plants will keep you well-stocked.