This Article is About
budget
dumpster diving
fruits and vegetables
types of fruits
decisions decisions
container garden
tips to save money
how to save money
compost
nutrients
Gardening On A Budget - How To Design A Garden On A Budget
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Gardening on A Budget  -  How to Design A Garden on A Budget

Welcome Spring! The weather is warmer and the birds are singing. That can only mean one thing. It's planting season!

Decisions, Decisions

In order to plan your garden on a budget, you first need to decide how large you want your garden to be, how much space you have to grow your garden, whether you have the proper materials to grow your garden (including sufficient sunlight), and what types of fruits or vegetables you plan to grow in your garden. Depending on the answers to these questions and the budget you have to work with ultimately determines the type of garden you will have.

Your Garden - Size and Materials

Here are a few things to consider when determining the size of your garden.

  • How much of your yard do you wish to dedicate to your garden?
  • Does it receive sufficient sunlight (6-10 hours per day depending on the plant) in order to successfully grow fruits and vegetables?
  • What is the quality of your soil? Does it have enough nutrients to plant directly into it, or will you need a heavy layer of gardening soil and compost to provide your garden with the nutrients it needs?
  • If your soil is rocky, sandy, or clay-like, planting directly into the soil is not suggested. Therefore, you should invest in either a raised bed garden or container garden. Do you have the materials (wood or sufficient containers) to create either a raised bed or container garden?
  • How many varieties of fruits and vegetables do you wish to have?

The size of your garden and the amount of materials you already have will factor greatly into the cost of your garden.

How to Save Money on Your Garden Materials

If you are expanding your garden or starting your first garden, the start up costs can be pretty expensive. Here are some tips to save money on your materials.

  • If you are planning a raised bed garden, look for wood you can recycle for your bed. Curb side freebies (i.e. dumpster diving) can provide the wood you need. Also check classifieds, online freebie websites, and your dump for throw away wood as well.
  • Check with your local business for any wood skids or pallets that they no longer need. Many stores reuse theirs, so make sure you ask before you take. Wood skids or pallets can be a great source of wood for raised bed gardens, or to place your container gardens on for better drainage.
  • If container gardening is your plan, you may need to be creative for additional containers. In my opinion, this is where curb-side freebies are your best bet. In addition to pots, look for small garbage cans, buckets, sand pails, and storage containers. Some people have planted beautiful gardens in old bathtubs. Think outside the norm and you will find containers you can use for your plants.
  • I recently read of planting potatoes in garbage bags. This is an inexpensive container for growing pounds and pounds of potatoes.
  • Seeds can be found for less at local discount and dollar stores. I found most of the varieties we were seeking at 4/$1 vs. $1.49 at most of the gardening stores. This was a huge savings for us and has enabled us to plant many more varieties than we originally anticipated.

If you use some of these tips, then you should be able to obtain most of your materials for free or at a large discount. Then, your biggest expense will be for your soil - quality garden soil, compost, and other nutrients for your soil.

In order to find the best price for our soil this year, we went to some local garden centers and asked them for suggestions for low price, quality dirt delivery. The same company came up more than once, so we knew they had the best price in town. Use a similar technique to shop around for your best deal.

A Time of Hope

Spring is a time of planning. Planning your garden and what delicious items you will grow to eat over the summer.

Spring is a time of hope. With planning a garden, comes expectations of a bountiful harvest. Hope prevails as we spend time and energy and spread love in our garden.

Spring is a time of preparation. It is time to purchase your canning supplies in order to be prepared to preserve your bountiful harvest.

Don't let your hard work end with the coming of fall. Enjoy your garden all through the year by home canning your fruits and vegetables. Your food budget and taste buds will thank you for it!


Street Talk

This is great info here. We had about five raised garden bed rows about twenty feet long each. Lots of potatoes. Even ended up selling some to the market. Another great article AJ

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Randy, I am envious of your many raised garden beds! We're trying our hand at potatoes for the first time this year! Do you have any tips you can share for a bountiful harvest?

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Your garden sounds fantastic, Heather! I wish you a bountiful crop this year.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I hope you took that gorgeous photo AJ. Makes me drool thinking about it! We're just in the process of pulling out the summer weeds and getting ready for autumn planting. Certainly is motivating reading your articles!

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

What are you planting for autumn? I have not planted fall or winter gardens before, but I am researching it now in preparation of the cooler weather. It should be fun!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Well it's all relative based on the part of the world you live in. We generally plant lettuce, tomato, radish, beans, peas, beet greens and last year cauliflower, cabbage (the grubs loved it), broccoli. So generally a mixed bag of whatever takes our fancy! Pumpkins did well but they were volunteer (according to my Canadian husband) or self sewn (as we say here). It is fun although I leave most of the hard work up to my husband!

  
  about 6 years ago

You folks are getting me to where I want to try my luck again. Maybe recycled solar screening to protect my plants from some of the desert sun and the raised beds might help protect from the creepy-crawleys like tomato worms.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

If you put cardboard down and saturate it before putting the dirt in for the raised beds, it will keep the bugs and critters from digging into your beds from below. I bet a local garden center could give you great tips on gardening in your desert heat / sun. Good luck, Sherry!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Great article AJ, a lot of information on how to save a lot of money and have fun growing your own garden.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Thanks Daniel! Gardening is a lot of fun and with two little ones at home, they get so excited to watch the plants grown and produce. Educational, fun, and money saving. What could be better!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Great article AJ, a great aid for newbies to the gardening order. I have recently this season planted potatoes in old car tyres stacked one on top of the other. I planted in one and as it grew I added another tyre to the stack and soil, you can keep going till flowering stage. What I found was a good water storage within the tyre and the space used minimal. The production was outstanding and well worth the effort. Next season I will try multiple staggered plantings for a whole seasons production.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Potatoes in tires, sounds like a great way to repurpose old tires. My only concern is whether any chemicals from the tires could seep into the soil. I'm excited to grow some in garbage bags this year, I'll let you know how we do!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

the tyres are stable and only exude oils with excessive heat, and the soils are reusable. I use a good chicken manure soil mix that insures a lack of chemical fertilisers that could cause unknown reactions. But it does work well.

  
  about 6 years ago
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