Friday, May 23, 2008

Frugal Gardening

There's no doubt that having a vegetable garden is frugal, growing your own food is a huge money saver. I love summer, and I love eating what I've grown. My gardens have all been in containers and quite small, but I still enjoy every bit of it. Someday we'll be settled in somewhere and I'll have a garden large enough to feed our neighborhood. until than I'm pretty content with my few vegetable plants.

Starting up a garden could get expensive fast. I know I'm tempted to spend a lot of money at the Home and Garden store every spring. Here are a few of my ideas to start a garden without a lot of cash:

1. Plan ahead and grow from seeds, it's more tedious but it's also fun to watch the progress from tiny seed to mature plant. You can even harvest your own seeds from vegetables you've already eaten, bell peppers and pumpkins are good candidates for this.

2. Forgo buying the fancy seed germination pots and kits from the garden store, use what you have at home. Any small container will work, just be sure to poke a hole in the bottom for drainage. I used yogurt cups but I think that an egg carton could also work.

3. Thinking about a container garden? consider using 5 gallon buckets you can get these for free from grocery store delis or bakeries, just ask.

4. One more thing. It's OK to buy a mature plant and replant it instead of starting with seeds, you'll make your money back on the plant pretty quickly once you start harvesting the produce. The idea is to have fun gardening and save money while at it.

For more Frugal Friday Tips go here.


Niki said...

I too just started planting form seed. I am hopefull they will make it but I am learning. Great job.

BarbaraLee said...

I love my garden. I do regret listening to dh. He insisted that I put my tom. plants in. We had some cold days here in MN. I hope they make it. I want to make sp. sauce.

Stephanie@AHighandNobleCalling said...

Great tips! Having fun and saving money are definitely the idea of a garden. It is so rewarding when it is time to reap the harvest!

I have been doing a beginning gardening series on my blog for anyone who needs some beginner tips. The posts are all located on my left side bar!

LinesFromTheVine said...

I love gardening. We've really added to our garden this year..I definitely agree with not using those expensive seed starting kits. We also used disposable food containers and my favorite- a rubbermaid box with dirt (just plant in rows like you would a miniature garden). That seed starting kit was a nightmare for me this year.

Thanks for sharing!

beta4U said...

You can also make your own seedling pots from eggshells and the egg carton can be a tray. By carefully cracking the egg with the larger bottom portion into about a 2/3 part (tossing the top 1/3 pointed portion) then rinse the residue egg out and with a sharp knife or scissors poke a drainage hole in the bottom. Fill the shells with a lightweight sterile potting mix formulated for seed starting, and then sow the seeds. When the seedlings are ready for transplanting, gently crush the eggshell with your fingers and plant them shell and all. The shell will improve your soil as it decomposes. I got this great tip from a farming magazine.