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Start Your Garden and Bring it to the Table

Allison Benson, RD, LRD, Program Assistant – NDSU Extension Service

As the sun shines and the snow melts, the feeling of spring is in the air. And with spring, comes the beginning of gardening for North Dakotans. In fact, April is recognized as National Garden Month. 

Certain plant seeds can be started indoors in April depending on which growing zone you live in. For those living in the northern Zone 3, tomato and pepper seeds can be started indoors mid-month. For those in Zone 4, broccoli seeds can be started indoors at the beginning of the month and beet, Brussel sprout, carrot, kale, onion, pea, pepper, spinach and tomato seeds can be started in the middle of the month. For more information, visit and find the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.  

If you have questions on how to grow certain foods such as leafy greens, apples or garlic or wondered how to ferment cabbage to make sauerkraut or fruit to make wine, North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension Service professionals may have the answers for you.

The NDSU Extension Service has an array of resources for getting fruits and vegetables from the garden or orchard to the table. The following free publications can be found on the NDSU Extension website  You can “google” the titles and NDSU Extension, and they should pop up quickly, too:

  • Harvesting Herbs for Healthy Eating
  • Leafy Greens!
  • Sauerkraut
  • Apples!
  • My Potatoes Turned Green Now What?
  • Salsa!
  • Jams and Jellies from North Dakota Fruits
  • Garlic

Reach out to your local NDSU Extension Service agent to get these resources and answer any questions you may have about how to get started growing or preparing North Dakota fruits and vegetables.

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Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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