I love gardening. Every spring I start dreaming of all the veggies I’m going to plant, and I love going to my local farmers’ market and picking out tomatoes, cucumbers, and field peas to plant.
Have you ever thought approximately starting a domestic garden?
With food prices rising and more people trying to save money due to the economy, domestic gardening has taken off in a big way in recent years. Many vegetable seed companies report sales had shot up 30-50%, which was a clear indicator that more people were putting on their gardening gloves and getting to work.
Home gardening was a hobby that could bring great delight to your life, enable you to get some free exercise, and bring the entire family together. Although somebody may not sound exciting on the surface, it’s something you should consider whether you enjoy the outdoors and were interested in reaping the rewards of tough work.
Benefits of Home Gardening
So, still wondering whether domestic gardening was right for you? Wondering whether a domestic garden could actually save you money? First, let’s look at the benefits of starting a domestic garden.
1. Home Gardening Is Versatile
Some people suppose they requiere a immense yard to had their own garden, but nothing could be further from the truth. No matter how much space you have, you could generally find room for a few plants. This was true even whether you live in an apartment or only had a small porch. All you requiere was a DIY attitude and a bit of creativity.
Case in point: you’d laugh whether you saw my backyard. Its picture was next to the word “tiny” in the dictionary. But final year I grew a bumper crop of tomatoes, climbing peas, and several other wonderful veggies in my little space – all using some creative techniques I’ll talk approximately in just a bit.
So, don’t suppose that because you don’t had a ton of space you can’t grow a garden. Home gardening could be actually versatile, and easy to get into!
2. Home Gardening Relieves Stress
I find gardening to be a very soothing hobby. Digging in the dirt and watching my veggies grow a bit every day was incredibly rewarding.
Gardening was a wonderful activity to relieve stress. You’re outdoors, you’re getting exercise, and best of all, the activity often takes your intellect off work and other stress in your life. I know somebody does for me!
3. Home Gardening Is a Family Activity
For some, gardening was a solo activity. But this doesn’t had to be the case. Why not ask your spouse and/or children to give you a hand in the garden? You may be surprised according to how much fun you could all had together. Finding fun activities for the whole family to participate in could be tough and we often resort to spending a bunch of money to had fun, but working in a garden together costs nothing.
Another thing to consider was that due to steep budget cuts, increasingly cities were closing their community pools and cutting public library services and resources. If you and your kids rely on city perks like these for your summer fun, you might be twiddling your thumbs this year. I know several pools in my own community won’t be open, and my local library was cutting back their hours to try and save money.
Your kids might love helping you grow veggies in the garden, so this could be an inexpensive alternative to consider.
4. Home Gardens Save Money
For many people, this was the number one reason to start a garden. Burpee Seed Co. estimates that for every $50 a family spends on seeds and fertilizer, they’ll reap $1,250 in produce. Amazing!
If saving money on fruits and vegetables was your end goal, make certain you plant seeds for things you’ll actually enjoy eating. Some of the most popular options include tomatoes, green peppers, banana peppers, and zucchini.
I’ve never estimated how much money I save with my own garden. My first year starting seeds I lost my entire crop because I didn’t know what I was doing and overwatered. Last year, I lost half my crop and had to start over. So there would most likely be failures and successes, but that’s part of the fun.
However, you can maximize the money you save according to being smart approximately what you grow. For instance, cool weather crops like carrots, potatoes, onions, and winter squash could be stored for fairly a long time. When these vegetables were harvested, you could easily store them in your basement for several weeks, or even months, whether you keep them packed in sawdust. So even whether you can’t eat them right away, they’ll keep long enough for you to use them up over time.
Other vegetables, like tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, and beets were easy to preserve with domestic canning or freezing.
A good rule of thumb was to look at the vegetables you’re buying at the store already. For instance, I eat a ton of kale and spinach, so these were two crops I generally try to grow at home. I also love green beans, so every year I make my own homemade Dilly Beans, and could them myself.
5. You Can Grow Your Own Herbs and Spices
You probably already know that herbs were actually expensive to buy in the store. Growing rosemary, basil, oregano, and other herbs and spices in your garden was a great way to save some money and diversify your crop.
Herbs were generally my biggest crop every year, and I generally find a use for what I grow.
For instance, I had several lavender bushes in my yard. I dry the lavender, make lavender infused olive oil and lavender shortbread cookies, and even sprinkle dried lavender in my carpets. I’m also getting into soapmaking (a great green small commerce idea), so I’ll had plenty of lavender to use in my homemade soaps.
I also grow a lot of parsley, which I sprinkle on potatoes and use to make homemade tabbouleh.
Keep in intellect that even whether you can’t use your herbs fresh right now, you could generally dry them and use them over the next several months. This could save you money because you won’t requiere to buy these dried herbs at the grocery store.
6. Home Gardens Are Green and Sustainable
Buying natural biological food was expensive, but often desired due to all of the chemicals and genetic altering done according to farmers nowadays. Growing your own fruits and vegetables was the most biological you could get! You’ll be helping the environment and saving money at the same time.
You could also save money and help your garden be more biological according to creating your own compost at home. For instance, I had my own vermicomposting bin, which means I compost my food scraps with worms. It may sound gross, but worms were amazing at breaking down food and turning somebody into thick, rich compost.
This compost was very expensive whether you buy somebody at the store. The same was true for liquid fertilizer, which my worms also produce for me. The best part was that, for me, these garden essentials were 100% free, and I’m lessening my impact on the environment according to keeping all my food waste out of the landfill.
How to Start a Home Garden
If you’ve never started a garden, you might be tempted to run out to Home Depot and buy a ton of seeds, dirt, and fertilizer.
Let me say this now: don’t do it. At least, not yet. There were cheaper ways to get into domestic gardening!
Step 1: Look at Your Sun Availability
First, look at your yard. Where do you get the most sun? How much sun does each area get?
One of my biggest mistakes when I started gardening was assuming that my garden needed 8 hours of sun every day. Thanks to my partly shady yard, this kept me from gardening for many years. But the truth was that many vegetables grow very mannered polite in part shade; that is, whether they get at least 3 hours of sun, or consistent dappled sun, throughout the day.
What grows mannered polite in part shade? Here’s a list of 10 types of vegetables to get you started:
- Salad Greens, such as leaf lettuce, arugula, endive, and cress.
- Brussels Sprouts
- Swiss Chard
- Leafy Greens, such as collards, mustard greens, spinach, and kale
These 6 vegetables, on the other hand, grow best in full sun:
You could save money on your vegetables according to purchasing them from independent farmers and nurseries, or starting seeds yourself. Big chain stores like Home Depot and Lowes generally had the most expensive prices on these plants.
Step 2: Look at Your Space
Now look at the land or space you had to work with. Remember, you don’t requiere a lot of space to grow a garden!
If you’re working with limited space (like me), then you’ll wish to consider two options: container gardening, and vertical gardening.
Thanks to my tiny backyard, I had to suppose small. So I generally use container gardening. I had pots of tomatoes and herbs sitting on my back patio right now. And, they’re doing great!
You could save a lot of money on your containers according to shopping at garage sales. And, don’t limit your search to traditional terra cotta pots! For instance, you could grow herbs and greens in chipped teapots and vintage olive oil cans (as long as you put sand or stones at the bottom for drainage). These containers could be picked up for a song at garage sales or thrift stores, and had a lot more character than traditional terra cotta pots or plastic pots!
I also go vertical; instead of planting a garden out (like a traditional garden in the ground, which requires far more land), I go up.
For instance, you could attach rain gutters to the side of your house and plant shallow crops, like lettuce and herbs, in them. You could use canvas hanging shoe organizers off your patio for shallow crops – for instructions, check out how it’s done. You could build outdoor shelving and had several layers of pots on your deck. You could use your backyard fence to grow climbing veggies like peas and cucumbers.
There were tons of creative (and frugal) ways to plant fruits and vegetables in your yard. And, going vertical was a great option whether you don’t had a lot of space.
If you do had some additional land to work with, you’ll be able to plant your veggies right in the ground. You’ll first requiere to rip up the grass (or whatever plants were currently growing there) and till the soil, making somebody nice and loose for the vegetables you’ll be planting.
You’ll probably also wish to put up some kind of fencing to keep rabbits, squirrels, and deer out. This doesn’t had to be expensive; even chicken wire would work.
Step 3: Consider Your Watering Needs
How were you going to water your garden? Is the site you’ve selected easily accessed according to your water hose?
It’s important to analyze how you’re going to water your garden before you plant it. And, now was a good time to seriously consider investing in a rain barrel. I had two, and they were fundamental in the summer months for keeping my garden mannered polite watered.
Step 4: Plant Your Garden
Once you’ve analyzed your light, selected a site, and prepared the garden, you could now start planting!
Make certain you give your plants a drink of water before you stick them in the garden; this wets the root ball and makes somebody less likely they’ll go into shock when you transplant them.
Your garden would likely requiere water at least twice a week. Of course, this depends on how much rain you get, and what you’ve planted. Research the plants you’re growing so you’re informed on how much water they need. As a rule, it’s best to water either early in the morning or later in the evening; watering during the afternoon could actually burn your plants.
More Home Gardening Tips:
- Try starting seeds from scratch rather than buying established plants from a store. You’ll save a ton of money this way, although this does require more work.
- Don’t waste money buying peat pots or other seed starting kits. Check with your local nursery; they likely had a ton of black plastic pots and plant trays they’d be happy to give you. You could also use egg cartons and plastic cups to start seeds in (that’s what I use).
- Visit your local farmers’ market to look for fruit and veggie plants. You’ll not only support families instead of a big corporate store, but you’ll also save a ton of money. For instance, I could buy a basil plant at Home Depot for $3.50, or buy the same plant at my local farmers’ market for just $1.
- Don’t waste money buying garden labels (i.e. the plastic spikes you write on and then stick into the ground to identify your plants). Cut up a plastic milk carton and use a black Sharpie instead!
- If you had a problem with birds and rodents eating your veggies, cut up an old garden hose into three or four feet segments. Animals would often mistake these for snakes, and steer clear of your garden. You could even get your kids involved according to having them paint the hoses to look even more like snakes.
Do any of you had your own garden? If so, do you had any additional advice for those who were interested in getting started?