How To Have a Beautiful But Inexpensive Garden
Gardening Is Affordable
There are many excellent reasons to have your own garden. You can grow some of your own food; grow herbs for your kitchen, cutflowers for your table, or create an oasis that allows you to escape from the work-a-day world. Whatever your reason for getting your hands dirty and connecting with Nature, gardening is a great way to invest your time.
Perhaps, best of all, gardening is affordable, accessible to
anyone who wishes to devote a bit of themselves helping things grow. Anyone can have a beautiful and inexpensive.
Growing things need light, air, food and water. Your role as a gardener is to be sure the plants, you wish to nurture, get what they need.
If you are gardening outdoors, nature supplies much of what you need. If you place your plants in the right place they will get the air and light they need and depending upon your location and the weather they will also get the water.
There are times when you will need to take care of the watering which is made easier if you collect rain water in a rain barrel, that way you do not need to turn on a tap to irrigate your garden.
When it comes to food, the rule of thumb for the gardener is to feed the soil and if you keep a compost bin, which you could make yourself, then you can see that your soil gets a regular feeding of organic material.
Healthy soil makes for healthy plants and a well fed garden bed is its own pest and disease control system.
You may want to use containers for yoru garden, especially if your time is limited or your space is small. You can grow anything in a container as long as that container is big enough.
Containers can take any shape as long as they have drainage
holes to allow the excess water to pass through the soil. Containers can be considered as a design element and will hep enhance the garden's visual appeal.
I use to grow tomatoes and green peppers in five gallon buckets I got for free from a friend who ran a small restaurant. The buckets once held food related products and as long as they were washed with soap and water and a drainage hole was put in the bottom they worked fine.
I have also grown flowers, Johnny-jump-ups, in a pair of my old construction boots. Visit yard sales and flea markets and you are likely to find suitable containers at very affordable prices.
If you plan to convert a portion of your yard to gardening you can still use containers or you can use the no-till gardening method to create the bed.
Organic gardening may be more time intensive, than using chemicals to feed your plants and get rids of pests, but organic gardening is much less expensive and healthier for you, your yard and all your neighbours.
You do not need a lot of tools, especially if you garden organically and use the no-till method. A good pair of garden gloves will last some years unless you are like me and lose one, always the left one, every year.
A shovel for moving compost and a rake for spreading it, for example, are a good investment. You may find these at a garage sale or flea market as long as the handle is in good shape you should get more than yoru money’s worth.
The bigger your garden, the more tools you may need, such as a wheelbarrow to haul compost, move plants and so on.
Now you will need something to grow, seeds are inexpensive, invest in heirloom vegetable seeds so you know you are getting the best quality. A pack of heritage cherry tomatoes will cost around $2.50 and give you more than enough seeds to plant.
You can also buy tomato, green pepper and many other plants as seedlings from the local plant nursery, a six pack of tomatoes seedlings will coat around $3-4.00 and give you a very reasonable return.
You can also get seeds and seedlings from friends, neighbours and family by bartering, you bake them cookies they give you tomato plants or cuttings.
My first houseplant collection grew to over 30 plants and began when people gave me cuttings.
You will find many gardeners are more than willing to share a few bean seeds. Last year my six tomato plants were given to me by someone who has purchased more than she needed and just wanted them to have a good home.
Saving your own seeds provides you with the seeds for the next season and as the seeds you save come from the plants you grew on your property, the new plants have already begun to adapt themselves to the existing growing conditions and if the seeds are store properly, I use a brown labeled envelope and keep them in my refrigerator, they will thrive when planted out.
To start seeds indoors, I have used Styrofoam coffee cups that I got from meeting I went to where they were serving coffee or tea. I take the used ones home wash them out, put a hole in the bottom and a slit or two on the side, add some soil and then the seeds, set them in a tray with water and place them in a sunny spot and voila seedlings appear.The seedlings can them be transferred to the garden when it is time.
Margarine, yogurt and ice cream containers work for this purpose as well.
You can garden if you want to and take a bit of time to determine what you want to grow, where you are going to grow and how much time you have to invest in the care and maintenance of your garden. Happy growing.
- Frugal Gardening - Simple ways to save money while you garden
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