Learn how to save money by growing a home garden
Kids eating you out of house and home? If so, a home garden is a great way to save money on your grocery bill. If you have a house full of kids, save a lot by growing your own food. Just follow these quick and easy tips to get started.
Tip #1 — Do your research
Before you make decisions about what you want to grow, spend some time doing research. You might absolutely love a particular vegetable, but it may take a small miracle to get that veggie to grow where you live.
Make a list of what you want to plant. Get a good gardening book and check which growing zone the plants are in. Check the growing season and the conditions needed to produce. Make a list of what your family likes to eat and check to see if those foods are good candidates for your home garden.
The library is a good source for some free gardening research. Most likely, they have plenty of gardening books and even videos that explain how to grow a garden. Be sure and check online too. Search using the terms, ‘vegetable gardening’, ‘how to garden’, and ‘vegetable gardening tips.’
Once you’ve done some research, you’ll be able to put together a list of plants that will be worth your time growing.
Tip #2 — Make a plan
Don’t wait until it’s time to begin planting to start thinking about what you’re going to grow. Gardening hobbyists and professionals both begin thinking about planting season during the cold, wet, dreary days of winter.
This is the best time to decide how you’re going to approach your gardening adventure. Some questions to think about are:
— How much money can you spend on a garden?
— How large do you want your garden to be?
— What do you need to do to get the ground ready for planting?
— What do you want to grow?
— Do you have any gardening experience?
— Will you buy seed or buy ready-to-produce plants?
— How much do you need to grow to help cut the costs of your grocery bill?
— How much time do you have to devote to gardening?
— How are you going to preserve and store your produce?
These are just a few questions to get you started. Also, consider plants that produce for long periods of time like tomatoes, beans, and squash. Spend some time on this step and be sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Tip #3 — Start composting
If you live in a regular neighborhood, chances are the dirt in your backyard is compacted fill dirt. Fill dirt doesn’t have the nutrients plants need to grow and produce. To fix this problem, you’ll need to ‘amend’ the soil.
This is a fancy way of saying; Add nutrients and texture to your soil before expecting anything to grow. Do this in several ways.
— First, till the dirt. If you or a friend has a tiller, great. Till the soil and add fertilizer to improve the condition. If you’re serious about saving money with a home garden, you need to begin composting.
— Composting isn’t difficult. Build a composting bin or simply start with a compost pile. Do some research about different ways to compost at sites like.
Tip #4 — What can you compost?
— Grass clippings
— Dryer lint
— Coffee grounds
— Shredded newspaper
— Vegetable scraps
— Wood clippings
Get the word out among your neighbors. They’ll be happy to let you have their grass clippings. You might be able to get free wood chips or mulch from your city.
However you decide to do it, composting can go a long way to improving the condition of your garden soil and saving your money on fertilizer.
Tip #4 — Start from seed
The most inexpensive way to begin a garden is to start with seed. Request a free seeding catalog or browse and order straight from a seeding site. Enjoy browsing through the pages of plants and choose which ones you’re interested in.
If you go and buy garden plants that are ready to start producing, you can quickly run up a bill. Also, don’t forget to collect seeds from your garden for next year. This way, you won’t even have to buy seed for next year. By planning ahead and growing your garden plants from seed, save big time.
Tip #5 — Recycle and reuse
If you decide to grow your plants from seed, don’t spend a lot of money on pricey ‘growing kits.’ Instead, begin collecting things to use for sprouting plants. Most of these things are items you normally throw away. Things like empty egg cartons, margarine and whip topping tubs, yogurt and cottage cheese containers.
All of these are great for sprouting. Save money and save the environment at the same time.
Researching, planning, composting, starting from seed, and recycling gets you off to a great start with your gardening. Follow these tips to garden cheaply; you’ll be amazed how much you save on your grocery bill with a home garden.