Everyone knows that growing your own food can save you a lot of money, right? Well, in some cases, it may actually cost you money! That is right. You may find yourself spending more money than growing your own food saves. Here are some tips on really frugal food growing.
Use the space you have. If you live in an apartment, see if you can grow some plants in containers on a porch or Windowsill rather than buying space in a community lot. Later, when you are experienced enough to get a huge yield from your garden, then go ahead and look for space elsewhere.
I know someone who went out and bought a huge amount of potting soil when she had a perfectly good backyard full of dirt. If your soil isn’t rich, then by all means add some homemade compost or even mix in some dead leaves.
Manage your weeds frugally. If you give your garden some regular attention then weeds won’t be a problem. Disturb the soil at least once a week and weeds can’t take hold. Get the weeds when they are babies and they will be easier to control. Instead of expensive mulch, use black plastic bags and newspaper to control your weeds.
Grow some surplus. If you plan for about 20 percent extra yield than what you think you need, you’ll come ahead. Sometimes crops can fail, and the extra is insurance. It is also nice to have more than you need to barter or trade with others. Our town hosts a local farmers market where any gardener can come and bring extra produce to sell.
Buy your fertilizer from a local farmer’s co-op to save the most that you can. If there is no co-op nearby, check with your local garden center to see if you can get a deal. Finally, realize that not all plants need fertilizer. Smaller gardens can take advantage of free resources such as organic compost, horse manure and fish heads.
How does your garden grow?
Mary Ann Romans writes about everything related to saving money in the Frugal Blog, technology in the Computing Blog, and creating a home in the Home Blog. Starting June 1st, don’t miss her articles in the Baby Blog. You can read more of her articles by clicking here.