Plant A Garden

Last year, I planted a small garden.

Throughout the spring and summer, we had fresh strawberries, butter beans, and onions.

This year, I plan to expand my garden.  I will be adding a couple of raised beds – and trying my hand at growing watermelons, potatoes, and assorted beans.

My goal is to be healthy – and frugal.  Here are some tips for planting a garden, without breaking the bank.

Place your garden in a convenient location.

This is crucial.  Take in to consideration sunlight, soil conditions, and proximity to water.  If you are dragging hoses back and forth, watering the garden will become a real chore.

Buy tools at yard sales – and borrow / share with friends.

Depending on the size of your garden, you will need various tools (rakes, shovels, tillers, etc.)  You may need these tools once or twice a week – or once or twice a year.  Shop discount-bins, yard sales – and borrow / share when you can.

Use raised-beds and square-foot gardening.

I am a big fan of raised-bed gardens – and this year I’ll be using the techniques from the book Square Foot Gardening to create my own square-foot garden.  Basically, square-foot gardening allows for maximum production from a smaller space.  I built my own raised-beds out of scrap lumber.

Make and use your own compost.

I built a compost bin out of some old pallets.  The pallets were free and the compost that I made was rich and filled with good stuff for our soil.

Conserve water.

I use drip irrigation, small sprinklers, and rain water collected in my homemade rain barrel.

Start – or even grow – your plants indoors.

This is something that I will be doing this year.  Here’s a great video – with tips for growing plants indoors.  It takes a few minutes to watch, but the information is easy-to-understand and very practical.

Plant what you like to eat.

Here in the South, tomatoes are extremely easy to grow.  I don’t like tomatoes, so I don’t plant tomatoes.  Spend your time and resources growing the things that you know your family will eat.  Should I need a tomato or two for a sauce or a soup, I can trade / swap / share with others in our neighborhood.

Be prepared to store vegetables.

This is extremely important.  At harvest time – you will have more than you can eat.  We freeze a lot of vegetables – and we are thinking about canning some for next year.  Here’s a video explaining the process – complete with awesome accent!

Save your seeds.

I am relatively new to gardening, but the sites I have visited and the books I have read always suggest saving seeds from the healthiest vegetables that you harvest.  This sets you up for the next planting season.  When I do not have seeds from a previous growing season, I will purchase them from our local hardware store, online, or even on eBay.

Talk to experienced gardeners.

This may be the most important tip.  Find a neighbor or friend who loves to grow things – and strike up a conversation.  Most folks who love gardening also love to talk about gardening.  Learn from the mistakes and successes of others.


Planting a garden can be fun – and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

If you have tips or techniques to share, please do so in the comments section.  Be blessed.

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One thought on “Plant A Garden
  1. David W

    Careful saving seeds. For things like tomatoes that can cross pollinate you may not end up with the same tomatoes the next year. Beans are safer and you can usually save seeds for many years, but in general it’s a toss up. Anything that says hybrid is a cross already, further crossing will just decrease your chances of getting the same thing next year. Heirloom varieties are easier to save seeds with since that’s basically where they came from to begin with.
    I personally just buy my seeds, they’re cheap and I get more consistent results.

     
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