10 Frugal Ways to Start Planting In Your Garden
It is an irony lost on most gardeners today. Many individuals turn to gardening as a small contribution to the effort to help Mother Nature survive. These individuals will invest a great deal of time, and often money, acquiring all the tools, plants and necessary materials to start and maintain their garden. The irony lies in the fact that for much of man's history a garden was far from an afterthought. A productive garden determined how well many families survived, or did not, from season to season.
For centuries, the garden was an essential element of family subsistence. Very few today rely on their gardens for their survival. In spite of this, it adds to the power of the concept of local gardening if the effort is approached with a frugal mindset. Listed below are 10 frugal ways to start planting your garden.
1. Coffee grounds and compost
There is so much said about compost it almost seems unnecessary to lead off with it as the number one item. The reality is that your garden is only as good as your soil and your seeds. Rather than expensive and harmful chemicals, compost is the ideal starting point before the first seed is planted. There are many sites that explain the benefits of compost and how to make it in even the smallest of spaces. The very process of bacteria working in the compost brings life to the soil. You'll have plenty of items from your own food preparation to use as starters. Don't forget Starbucks program for providing used coffee grounds free of charge. These are great for natural soil enrichment.
2. Seeds are the key
You can buy plants of various sizes at different prices. The most efficient method, however, is to grow your own plants right from carefully selected seeds. That saves the energy of someone else doing the work and transporting the plants. You are really on track is you harvest your own seeds from your plants each year. Store them in a climate controlled emergency food container for next year's planting.
3. Smart water
Make plans to capture rain water for use; reuse as much of your waste water as possible. Just avoid the chemicals from soaps and cleaners.
4. Manuals tools
When starting out, it can be very tempting to buy or rent a gas powered tiller to prepare the ground, especially if you are ambitious with a large area for your garden. Avoid any power tools. It's cheap, smart and the exercise is good for you.
Multiple products are great for use in the garden. Reuse small containers to germinate seeds and newspaper for weed control. Study and you will find dozens of other ideas.
Plan your crops with other gardeners. You don't have to raise every type of vegetable. Specialise and share with some other “specialist.”
7. Co-op purchases
When supplies such as seeds or plants do have to be bought, get together with your fellow gardeners to buy at the best price.
8. Cover crops
Always have something growing. The right cover crops in your off season can restore the soil and produce an attractive green cover.
Experiment with dehydration, freezing and other food storage concepts. Enjoy your garden's bounty year round.
People love garden fresh products grown locally. Treat your extra produce as currency and barter for things you want or need.
Gardens are no longer our guarantee for survival but they can be fun and frugal.