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Grow Your SNAP Dollars

Choose gardening to stretch your SNAP dollars!

You can use your SNAP Benefits to buy seeds and food producing plants.

Don’t have space in your yard for a garden? Consider container gardening. Anything that can grow in a garden can also be grown in a container.


Containers

Many things can be used for a container including buckets, cans, crates, and even milk cartons. Open items used for containers need to be lined with plastic and all should have drainage holes near the bottom for proper drainage.

Drainage

If drainage holes are on the bottom, the container should be slightly elevated off the ground to allow excess water to drain. A better way to assure proper drainage is to make the drainage holes near the bottom of the container but located on the sides. Then the container can rest directly on the ground surface.

Container Size

For any given plant, the larger the container, the greater the number of plants that can be grown. When in doubt, check the seed pack or planting instructions for spacing requirements.

Fertilize

There are dry fertilizers you mix with water and apply. Follow instructions on package. A handful of compost can be applied every few weeks to the top of the container.

Watering

If the soil is dry, water plants thoroughly (until water runs out the bottom) whenever the planting material feels dry to the touch. This could be more than once a day in hot, dry weather. Morning is the best time for watering.

Light

Most need full sun for healthy growth. This means locating your containers in areas that receive at least six hours of light

Grow your own tomatoes! Instructions for planting in a container

1. Choose a container – minimum diameter of 12 inches.

2. Fill container – add a few inches of gravel and then fill it halfway with potting soil.

3. Plant the plant – place your plant in the container and then fill with soil leaving 2-3 inches at the top.

4. Make sure the plant gets enough sunlight – place in an area with at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight.

5. Water – tomatoes need an inch of water per week. Tomatoes do most of their growing at night, so water in the late afternoon.

6. Fertilize – every 2-4 weeks by adding some compost to the top of the container.

Tips: Clean & Store Wipe clean and store tomatoes at room temperature away from sunlight and wash before eating. Store cut tomatoes in the refrigerator.

Grow your own spinach! Instructions for planting in a container

1. Choose a container – minimum diameter of at least 6 inches and has one bottom drainage hole at minimum.

2. Fill container – with potting soil.

3. Plant the plant – spread seeds approximately 1 inch apart, cover with 1/4 inch potting soil.

4. Make sure the plant gets enough sunlight – place in an area with at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight.

5. Spinach likes cooler temperatures – and will grow in the shade if you don’t have direct sun.

6. Water – when the top 1 inch of soil begins to feel dry. Always mist the soil if it begins to get dry before watering time.

Ready to eat – when leaves are 5 inches. Cut the outside leaves allowing smaller leaves to grow

Grow your own bell peppers! Instructions for planting in a container

1. Choose a container – that is two gallons and 14-16 inches deep.

2. Fill container – 2/3 potting soil and 1/3 compost.

3. Plant the plant – one or two pepper plants per container. Make sure the hole is deep enough to hold the root ball.

4. Insert a 3-foot stake – loosely tie the plant to the stake with twine, retying as the plant grows.

5. Make sure the plant gets enough sunlight – place in an area with at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight and turn the pot daily.

6. Water – check the soil daily for moisture and water as needed to keep the soil moist.

Tips: Clean & Store Refrigerate peppers; do not wash until ready to eat. Keep them dry, as moisture will eventually cause them to rot. Red and yellow peppers will last four to five days; green, about a week

Grow your own collard greens! Instructions for planting in a container

1. Container – needs to be at least 1 foot deep with one plant per container.

2. Fill container – 1/3 potting soil and press it down with your hands. Next, fill the rest of the pot down to 2 inches from the top.

3. Plant the plant – place plant in container.

4. Make sure the plant gets enough sunlight – place in an area with many hours of direct sunlight. Turn the pot daily.

5. Water – when soil is dry 1-2 inches from the top.

Tips: Clean & Store Wash the whole bunch in cold running water for a few minutes until the dirt is rinsed off the leaves. Rinse in salt water for 30 minutes. Wrap unwashed collard greens in damp paper towels and place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. If stored like this, they will keep for up to five days. Collards can be started from seed either in March and/or late August