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Home Gardening Tips

Home gardening can be a great way to cut the food budget. Producing your own food and preserving for future use will reduce the grocery budget substantially.

The fruits of your gardening labor will not only save you money, but will produce great gifts that everyone appreciates.

We'll offer you some suggestions on how to use your home gardening talents to save money in your grocery budget as well as a few other budget expenses!

Home gardening is fun, educational, and healthy! The obvious savings is in your grocery budget. Of course, if you're growing your own food, you're saving money at the grocery store. Right! And, if you learn a few simple preservation techniques you can enjoy the savings year round.

I will caution you, however, that if you don't practice frugal gardening, it could end up costing you more than purchasing. In determining saving you have to account for the time involved in home gardening also.

Your time is worth something, and must be considered when determining if a project is actually to your benefit. Of course, if it's a family affair, then the time you spend with your kids in the garden can be priceless!

Carefully research the tools and supplies you will need for your home gardening project. For instance, if your planting a small garden, you probably could do so without the aid of a rototiller, which can be an expensive investment. Of course, if you have a friend that has one, maybe you could borrow it.

You will find a wide variety of gardening tools for sale. You will actually only need a few simple tools to get started. Don't waste your money on luxuries if you're on a tight budget.

Consider the four main tasks in home gardening and the tools needed:

  • Preparing - soil preparation. You will need a garden hoe and shovel.
  • Planting - putting seed in the soil. You need nothing more than a tool for digging and your own two hands
  • Maintaining - watering, weeding, pruning. Watering will depend greatly on geographics and location of your garden in respect to the water supply. The tools required could be as simple as a hose or watering can, to a more elaborate in garden watering set up. Don't do any more than necessary to help nature along. Weeding and pruning really require no extra tools, but you will find there are many tools available that could make the job easier on you.
  • Harvesting - Picking the "fruits of your labor." Harvesting is an important part of the growth cycle. Many vegetables will not reproduce if they are not harvested regularly to prompt new growth. Regular harvesting will enable you to efficiently use up the produce as well. It's a good idea, once plants reach this stage, to check daily for growth.

Frugal Home Gardening Tips

  • Purchase used tools and supplies whenever possible. Try yard and garage sales, flea markets, and newspapers. You could get lucky and find someone giving away garden tools at Freecycle.org. Don't forget to inquire with neighbors and friends who may have extra tools or tools they don't use.
  • If you have to buy new, check several suppliers to get the best price. Buy off season to prepare for next season's tasks to get the best bargains.
  • Plant more expensive produce as opposed to the low cost produce. Growing higher priced produce like, tomatoes, strawberries, and lettuce will provide the most savings in your grocery budget. Carrots and cabbage are cheaper. This is a good strategy if you have limited garden space.

    However, if you have plenty of garden space, grow a wide variety of produce. Some cheaper veggies keep for months with simple storage requirements (like carrots and potatoes) and are certainly worth growing.

  • Choose plants that thrive well in your geographic area and climate for better results.
  • Always plant from seed instead of seedlings. Seedlings will cost more.
  • Shop around for the best seed prices. Try a seed co-op like Fedco Seeds
  • Practice "seed saving" or "heirloom gardening" - Fedco provides a school plan for seed saving. Saving seed, and practicing "heirloom seed" gardening is a truly rewarding gardening technique. There are explicit lesson plans here for children and families wishing to make home gardening an important part of their lives.

    This is a PDF format you can download the pdf reader here if necessary.

    Review the seed school lesson plan at Fedco Seeds. Generation to Generation provides a "grade-by-grade journey of seed saving projects that weave together ecology, gardening, and community-on-the-land themes."

  • Don't buy when you can recycle. Recycle egg cartons and old ice trays for seed starters.
  • Weeds are the worst during the first year and then will diminish somewhat. Use a hoe to disturb the soil regulary (once every few days to once a week) inbetween rows and prevent weeds from starting. You will still have to hand weed inbetween plants. After plants are of substantial size don't stress if you have time issues. They will overpower the weeds and still produce beautifully.
  • Use Natural pest control whenever possible. Example: Mix 1 tbsp dishwashing detergent with one cup of vegetable oil. Use 1 to 2 teaspoons of this mixture per 1 cup water, in spray bottle or sprayer and spray on plants.
  • Use natural fertilizers - Compost food waste, grass clippings, and dried leaves.
  • Don't get discouraged! Gardening is like most arts, practice makes perfect. Each year you will learn more about "your" unique garden and what works and doesn't work. You'll develop a sense of what plants need your help and which ones will literally fend for themselves. This will minimize your fertilizing expenses as you will learn that not all plants will need the extra help of fertilizer.

    Now, if you just can't see yourself home gardening in the traditional sense of gardening, or if you simple don't have a yard to work in, then container gardening might be more your style.

    You can also use container gardening to carry your gardening over into the winter season. A great way to maximize grocery savings year round!

    Get your kids involved too! Kids love to play in the dirt. Here's the chance to turn that love of dirt digging into a productive activity. And, they will not only learn while playing, they will be proud of the accomplishment.

    If you're a novice I have a great treat for you! Gardens Alive is the premier supplier of environmentally friendly products for the home, lawn, garden and orchard; a full line of products that are tested and proven to be an effective alternative to harsh chemicals.

    Here's the treat........the Gardens Alive's Natural Gardening Library is a valuable resource for any home gardener; novices and experts alike. And , it's free.

    You'll find lots of informations like, natural remedies for garden pests, starting seedlings, pruning, and even preparing your garden for vacation.

    Container Gardening

    Container gardening can be a great option for those who don't have garden space.

    Recycle 5 gallon buckets, bushel baskets, large pots, anything that you can put drainage holes in and is a substantial size to support a produce plant.

    Container gardening can be fun and save you money. Try Container Gardening with Your Kids! Watch them learn and have fun.

    Related Reading



    Great Gardening Tips... for Novices and Know-it-alls



    Gardening Resources

    GardenHere: Free Plants, Seeds and Flowers - America's Favorite Home Gardening Community. We make exchanging plants, seeds and flowers fun and easy. And, it's FREE.

    Heirloom Seeds
    Heirloom vegetable seeds, herb seeds, heirloom flower seeds and more! Garden Tips.

    Heirloom Seeds - Seeds of all kinds for your garden, including vegetable seeds, bulk seeds, flower seeds, herb seeds, cucumber seeds, tomato seeds, chile seeds
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    Heirloom Tomato Seeds
    100 varieties of tomato seeds for your garden.

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    Free Budgeting E-course

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