Beth Granai of Cary, N.C., yearned for a vegetable garden, but her history with home-grown produce was not pretty.
"I just put the tomatoes in the dirt, no soil preparation," she said. "We weren't really sure what happened to those tomato plants. They didn't produce a single fruit."
A dismal economy and a new consciousness about food safety have led to a 19 percent rise this year in household gardens, according to the National Gardening Association. Even first lady Michelle Obama has helped plant a White House vegetable garden. But while images of fresh produce tantalize, gardening can be hard work. Gardening experts and volunteers are staying busy helping the newbies get their hands dirty.
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