(By Daisy Luther) With the price of healthful groceries going no place but up, lots of thrifty folks are starting a garden to save money on their bills this year. But what about the money to start a garden? It can be a very expensive undertaking, especially if you’ve never gardened before in your particular location.
I’ve been researching ways to start my own garden as inexpensively as possible and thought, “HEY!!! I know some other folks who would absolutely love frugal gardening ideas!” So…here they are.
Step One: What Kind of Garden Are You Going to Grow?
Of course, the very first thing to decide is what type of garden will work best for your situation. This will depend a lot on your soil, your climate, your skillset, and what you have easy and inexpensive access to. Following are some articles and books that will help you make your decision.
For those who aren’t build-y: Big Bag Fabric Raised Beds (I have used these with great success for veggies with shallow roots and as a bonus, you can use them on concrete if you’re gardening on a patio.)
Step Two: Plan Your Garden
Now that you have figured out how you’ll grow your food, you need to figure out what to grow. A lot of that depends on your goals. Are you just hoping for salad this summer? Or are you planning to grow an entire year’s worth of food for your family? These links will help you make some decisions!
Step Three: Start Your Seedlings
While it’s easy and less hassle to buy your seedlings already started, it costs a whole lot more. One plant can be the equivalent of an entire package of seeds! Starting your own seedlings is not that difficult and you don’t need an indoor growing operation that marijuana drug lords would envy.
Step Four: Amend, Create, or Prepare Your Soil
No matter how sturdy your seedlings or how efficient your beds, your garden is only as good as your soil. These tips will help you, whether you’re amending what exists, creating soil, or preparing your soil to receive seedlings.
Know Where You’re Starting Out: Test Your Soil
Bonus: Pest and Weed Control
You don’t have to break the bank to keep weeds and pests at bay. Many of the things you need are things you’d normally throw in the trash. Other DIYs are chemical-free and thrifty to make.
Bonus Bonus: Miscellaneous Frugal Gardening Awesomeness
These resources didn’t fit into any of the above categories but I found something useful for my frugal gardening efforts in every single one. So, I figured you guys would like them too!
Bonus Bonus BONUS: A Peek at My Personal Gardening Library
These are the books I have on my own bookshelf in the gardening/homesteading area. I’ve included links so you can find them on Amazon. All links are to the newest editions, so the books may not look the same as the ones you see on my shelf.
Organic Gardening (There are only a few used copies of this one on Amazon)
Not shown because I let someone borrow them or read the e-version:
What are you waiting for?
If you are into the preparedness lifestyle, I’ve mentioned again and again what a terrible idea it is to wait until after a disaster to begin learning to garden. I’ve had a couple of bad years in a row, and I’m determined to make this one better. I have that luxury now, because groceries are plentiful, albeit pricey, at my local store.
Clearly, budget isn’t an issue! There are so many things you can do on a dime that there’s absolutely no reason for you to delay starting a garden for self-reliance.
Do you have any frugal garden tips you’d like to share? Your comments could be included in a future round-up! Post them in the section below!
Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.