There are a number of cost efficient ways to cultivate and grow your own food. Small garden space or large, growing your own food does not take a lot of money or space to get started in and even less investment to maintain the longer that you participate.
Even the most basic gardening costs can be lowered. Composting, saving your seeds, selling at Farmer's markets, and trading sprigs or plants with other gardeners are a few simple ways to cut spending and increase your garden's financial rewards.
Growing your own fruits, herbs, and vegetables is one of the best ways to cut back on the ever rising cost of food. When you grow your own produce you also have the added benefit of knowing what you are setting on your table. Organic gardening helps to reduce the pesticides and other toxins you and your family might otherwise consume.
Getting Started as a Beginner is Easy
Space should never be an issue. You can easily hang a basket or use a window planter to create a small herb, lettuce, or strawberry garden.
Container gardening can be just as much fun as having a full garden space. You can create a small container garden in an apartment, on a balcony, on a patio deck, or in your yard.
If you have your own yard then clearing a space for a bed can initially be a bit of heavy work but having your own garden is so worth the effort once your plot is complete. From there it is simply a matter of maintenance.
Gardening is a fun hobby that allows you the perfect opportunity to get out in the sunshine and play in the dirt. If you have joint or back issues then raised garden beds are the ideal solution. They can help save a lot of work and pain later in the game and with them weeding is a breeze.
There are a Number of Ways to Bring Your Gardening Indoors
Creating Nutrient Rich Soil Through Composting
Often one of the major costs involved in gardening is soil. Many gardeners spend money on purchasing dirt, manure, and fertilizers to enrich their garden plot. Past the initial installation of your garden bed this cost is generally unnecessary.
Nutrient rich soil can be completely free of charge with a little pre-planning. The garden bed can be enriched by composting vegetation back into it. It is estimated that the average US household throws away about 200 pounds of vegetable waste each year. What a waste.
Vegetable matter from the kitchen is nutrient rich material that can easily be converted into rich soil in a mere matter of weeks. Composting can save you a lot of money.
For large field farming red or white clover are nutrient rich plants that can be alternated on garden sections and then at the end of the growing season can be plowed into the ground to enrich the earth. By switching around the growing areas each year the red clover's nutrients will help to naturally enrich the soil.
How to Compost Your Kitchen Waste
It takes 3 things to help your vegetable waste quickly compost into nutrient rich soil and these are dirt, sun, and water.
All vegetable matter including fruit or vegetable peelings and trimmings, nut shells, egg shells, tea bags, coffee grounds, and small pieces of cardboard or paper can be composted. Just add dirt, water and sunshine to begin the process.
* Items that should never be put into your compost site are lard, oil, grease, meat or fish products, dairy or cheese products, pet wastes, or any other potentially toxic contaminants.
For creating a small compost site simply dig a shallow hole at one corner of your garden area, deposit your vegetable waste into the hole, and lightly cover it with dirt.
Add a sprinkling of water and then stir the compost pile on a regular basis to increase the speed at which composting will occur. Nutrient rich soil can be produced within four to five weeks in a well maintained compost pile.
Harvesting and Saving Seeds from the Garden: Part 1
Lifting the Dirt and Weeds Can be Made Easier
Avoid GMO by Harvesting Your Own Seeds
Not only can you harvest seeds for your own use but you can also harvest organic seeds to sell at local flea markets and farmer's markets. There are a couple of reasons why it is wise to harvest your own seeds or seedlings. Doing so will logically help you to save on gardening costs but there is also an environmental twist as well.
Many modern seeds are genetically modified or come coated with chemical pesticides. When you harvest your own organic seed you can provide a safer healthier alternative for both your family and any creatures who may come in contact with your garden area. This is especially important for pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
Most gardeners generally make an annual spring trip to their favorite store to purchase seed and seedlings each spring. Much of this expense can be avoided. There are many types of seed and seedlings that are free for your use and all it takes to acquire them is a flat space to dry them and a small container to store them in.
The seed can be acquired from vegetables or fruit as we consume them. Just remove a selection of seed from the chosen food and set them out onto a paper towel to dry. Then store the dried seed in a small labeled brown paper bag till the next planting season.
Tomato, beans, peas, apple, watermelon, lettuce, and sunflower are examples of a few very easily acquired seeds.
Harvesting and Saving Seeds From the Garden: Part 2
Share Seedlings and Clippings With Other Gardeners
Seedlings are an item that can be acquired without cost. Most gardeners are willing to share and all it takes is a few minutes to ask if they are willing to share a few sprigs of their plant or bush with you.
Many fruit and herb gardeners are only to thrilled to pass along small sections of their plants as well as a few tips for their care.
Apple, pear, cherry, and nut trees, as well as raspberries, strawberries or other fruit bushes can be inexpensively acquired in this manner. Most trees and bushes need trimming or pruning anyway so sharing isn't usually a problem where these items are concerned.
If you spot something out there that you like just take a few minutes to stop by to say hi and ask if you might have a sprig or two to take home with you. When it comes your turn to do your pruning pass along the bounty and share a few sprigs with your neighbors.
A Small Space Shouldn't Stop Your Green Thumb From Blooming
Even if you live in an apartment it is possible to have fresh herbs and vegetables. In a well lighted area of your apartment you can have container pots of herbs, dwarf trees, or lettuce rather than the standard houseplants that usually dwell in these areas.
If you have a balcony then you can easily plant a small lettuce, herb, or pea garden in balcony boxes. Even a small garden can bring great enjoyment for those who own them.
Composting can be accomplished in an apartment too. Just use a pail or container to store your vegetable waste or combine it with dirt in a planter.
You can do a small pail compost on your balcony or take a trip to an outdoor area where you can return the vegetable waste to mother nature and let her take care of the composting for you. She's always willing to help out in the process you just have to supply her with the waste material and she'll provide the sunshine and water.
There are many ways to garden. Indoors or outdoors, on a patio, or in a full garden plot. You choose your garden style and then plant in the manner that suits where you reside. Grow a green thumb today.
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