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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Get the most out of your green thumb this spring and summer.  Plant your own garden and grow some of your own produce to help cut down on your grocery bill.  Don't know what to plant or when to do it?  Check out Sprout Robot.  You can sign up for a free membership and select what you want to grow.  Sprout Robot will then send you an e-mail when you should plant each crop!

There are several things to consider before you plant a garden.  It's going to take time and resources.  You can't just plant seeds or transplants and ignore them.  You have to use some fertilizer and water and have a lot of sunlight.

Next up, you have to consider what you're going to plant.  it's not going to be cost effective to plant ALL of your fruits and veggies.  If you love to garden and grow your own produce, that's great!  if you will use your garden to cut down on your grocery bill, be selective.     Dennis Patton with the Johnson County Extension Office says to start small and choose plants like tomatoes and peppers.

While seed packages are cheaper than transplants, Patton says it could actually cost you more to try and start your own plants.  Compare the costs.  It may be cheaper for you to buy transplants from the beginning.

When it comes to fertilizer, Patton says don't waste money.  Fertilizer is regulated by law.  When you compare brands, make sure the three numbers match up.  If they do, buy the cheaper bag.

And look for closeout seeds at the end of the season.  Every package of seeds is marked with a year.  It's illegal for stores to sell seeds from a previous year.  They will be on clearance as the season ends.

When it comes to seeds and plants the Kansas City Community Garden is teaming up with the Independence Health Department to offer you a deal.  Membership to the garden is $2 for low income families and $10 for everyone else.  With your membership you'll be able to select 10 packets of seeds and a 5 lb. bag of fertilizer.  You'll also be eligible for discounts on additional seeds and plants.  You do need to register for this deal.  Click here for more information.

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