The garden is in! It is planted and thriving! I have not had the time for a garden the last 2 years because of having a baby in August 2010 and moving to a new state May 2011. I almost did not have one this year because I had trouble justifying a set-up cost of $200 when I was probably not going to yield as much.
My garden did cost some money, but it was under $25(Correction: $30) I am proud to say, and would have been cheaper if I still had equipment from the old house. Hopefully I can pass on some garden thriftiness to you in the next few Garden Edition posts!
#1: FIND SOME FRIENDS!
So, my garden was going to take place as a patio bucket garden, because I did not have the time to cultivate the clay soil and weeds in the rental house yard. In talking to my neighbor, he offered to till me a plot! It was wonderful! He even did a double pass. He also gave us some free tomato plants that he was not going to use. Another friend was so gracious and gave me two home-grown pumpkin plants. I love pumpkin.
#2: KEEP IT SIMPLE!
What do you eat the most of? We eat a lot of Roma tomatoes because of all the Mexican dishes we make, so that was a must-have. We also eat pounds and pounds of tatuma squash(a type of zucchini) but I couldn’t find the seed variety in stores and bought yellow squash seeds instead. We needed some fresh herbs. They are cheap to grow, but can be expensive to buy fresh, so picking your own from as local a source as your yard is very nice.
Choose the few plants that you will really use and ask around. Many people buy 4 or 6-packs of plants but don’t need them all. Pair up with a friend! Especially pair up on seed packets or get your seeds at a discount somewhere. The dollar store had half-size seed packets, 4/$1. Do I seriously need 100 cucumber seeds when I only have space for 3 plants?
#3 DON’T BE AFRAID TO GROW!
So you’ve never grown a thing in your life. Or maybe your green thumb is not quite as green as you would like. DON’T BE AFRAID! Just try it. There are two most common gardening problems: Forgetting to water your plants and overanalyzing how they should be growing. Just put the seeds or plants in the ground, water them daily until they have a good start, and then use some common sense. Or connect with someone that has good garden sense that can help you. God created plants to grow in spite of me. I am so thankful for this!
#4 THE GROWING SEASON IS LONGER THAN YOU THINK!
Yes it is June. Yes, the dollar store lady asked me why I was still trying to start a garden when I bought seeds the last week in May. But really, the plants I accumulated take 60ish days to bear good fruit. That means I will have yummy veggies in July! And August, and Sepetember depending on when the frost comest this year. Not to mention I bought the seeds when vacationing in Texas. Their growing season can go well into October, so go ahead and plant. It’s not too late to start.
Stay tuned to the Don’t Buy a Thing Garden. The next post will include some tips for repurposing items for use in your garden!