To me, nothing beats the taste of a homegrown tomato! If you' decided to try a vegetable garden this year, here are a few suggestions to keep it simple.

Know your limitations: There is no such thing as "maintenance free" gardening.  If your life is busy, a raised bed or a container may be the best way to start. You'll have a lot less weeding in either one.

Know your site: Most vegetables need 6 to 8 hours of sunlight to produce. Use a soil test to check which nutrients your soil may need.

Easy water access: Plan your garden as close to the water source as you can. Drip irrigation and long wand hose attachments allows you to get the water directly to the roots.

Have the right tools: A pointed end garden shovel, a garden fork, a flat-headed straight rake, and a hoe will get you started. A sturdy garden cart comes in handy, but a 5 gallon bucket works, too. A bonus is that the bucket can be turned over and used as a seat!

Seeds or plants: It's fun to watch the miracle of a seed growing, but if you're the type who wants immediate results choose healthy plants from a local garden center. The staff can help you with your choices and give you tips on spacing, watering, and fertilizing.

Be realistic about your needs: Just a few plants can produce a lot of vegetables. However, if you do overdo it, local food banks often accept fresh produce!

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