…is what I often here from friends who don’t garden. Yeah… if you use Martha Stewart Living as your standard (Sorry Martha, I love your work…I’m just sayin’).
We use magazines and gardening shows as a way to generate ideas for my gardening experience but not as the general rule for what I do in my gardens. Gardening for me has to be frugal.
If I am paying more to grow tomatoes than it would take to buy them at the grocer, than it defeats my purpose. The biggest key to gardening on the cheap is to make a plan.
I started composting in Spring 2009 using a very frugal method that I demonstrated here. It saves me a ton of money and it allows me to get more that one use out of the food from my kitchen.
Composting is a slow process so in order to reap the benefits you must plan ahead. We started composting last summer and throughout the fall and winter.
By planning ahead we have saved money on the purchasing compost and fertilizer.
Starting your garden from seed rather than those pretty pre grown vegetable plants at the gardening center is going to big a big money saver.
We purchase all of seeds at the end of the season when they are cheapest, which means we buy them a year in advance. If we do buy potted plants, we buy them from the clearance area of the gardening center. When we buy regularly priced plants we look for the smallest pot size which are generally cheaper and allow them to mature in our gardens.
Buying smaller plants can make your garden look empty in the beginning stages, but once they mature they will be just as beautiful as a fully grown plant only at a fraction of the price.
Once you’ve gotten your seeds and compost you’ll need something to plant them in. I use the egg cartons, styrofoam containers, plastic containers and just about anything I can find. Just make sure not to use any containers that came into contact with raw meat.
As you can see, gardening and growing your own food does not have to be expensive. Growing your own vegetables will allow you to save money and control the quality of what your family eats. I can’t wait to eat all of the delicious goodness that will come from these plantings.