When planning a garden, the first thing you must decide is your budget. For those who do not have much to spare, planning ahead is the most important key to a successful garden. Here’s how to get your garden started for under $10 . .
Step 1: Start composting
Set aside a corner of your yard where you would like to set up your fertilizer. Then start adding. Composting is a great way to create a free nutrient rich fertilizer for your garden. Pile up your organic trash (food waste, coffee grounds) and add in your animal waste**, (horses have great fertilizer). Add in your fall leaves and grass clippings. Just be sure to stir it up every once in a while with a rake or shovel to ensure proper composting.
Step 2: Choose your seed
If you want to plant items you would usually purchase, start saving the seeds now. Some can be found in the food you purchase. Any dried bean can be brought to life. As well as onions, potatoes, yams, grapes, corn, carrots, string beans and lettuce with the stalk still attached. Any type of squash seed could be gathered, dried and saved for spring planting. You would be amazed how many seeds can be planted.
A few long term seeds could be planted as well like apples, pears, walnuts, and cherries.
After gathering what you already have on hand, try branching out to find seed swap. Various clubs will swap seeds from previous years and many are willing to help out a newbie with a few seeds and lots of advice.
Try garage sales for old and expired seeds. The secret is… they still work!
Also, look into the option that many places which accept SNAP and food stamp will let you purchase gardening seeds as well.
Step 3: Turn the soil
This might be where you would have to spend some cash. If you have zero tools, you will need at least a shovel. This can be picked up at garage sales, dollar stores and even swap meets. Making the choice to have fresh soil and mixing in your compost will make or break your garden.
Step 4: Plant!
Enjoy your frugal garden! If done well, you should be able to plant next years garden for free! Just save your seeds from this years batch and continue the cycle.
A note regarding animal waste- do not use cat or dog waste in your garden. A good rule of thumb to remember is not use any waste from “meat” eating animals.
What are your favorite Frugal Gardening Tips? Feel free to share them in the comments below!
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