Having a vegetable garden used to be something everyone had. Growing your own food used to be considered a necessity rather than something you did by choice.
However, in these modern times of readily available food and hectic lifestyles, the idea of growing your own food has dwindled.
With that said, having a vegetable garden fits perfectly well into a frugal living lifestyle, as it provides good cheap food without the need for chemical pesticides.
Growing your own food doesn’t require large acres of land, in fact even if you only have a small area to plant i.e. a window box, you can still grow some of your own food, herbs for instance.
All it takes is a little time and imagination and you could soon have your first crop on your plate.
First Steps In Vegetable Growing
I enjoy frugal gardening but I am certainly no expert gardener, my secret weapon in having a successful vegetable garden has been my local library.
It has provided me with so much information about how to actually “do gardening”; I have never had to seek advice anywhere else.
Plus, it has opened my eyes to many vegetables and fruits I have never come across before, such as varieties of potatoes never found on the shelves of the supermarket.
Why limit yourself to just a few flavors? Experimenting with different varieties always gives me a thrill the first time I taste them for myself.
The Humble Tomato
If you do not want to jump into the deep end with having a full-blown vegetable garden of your own, why not try growing Tomatoes first. It is said that it is almost impossible not to be able to grow a Tomato, as they are very hardy given the right conditions. Certainly a good place to start for frugal gardening.
Tomatoes can be very expensive to buy and most of the time they have little or no taste what so ever, but a Tomato picked from your own vine will be full of flavor and cost you pennies in comparison.
Simple steps in growing your own Tomatoes:
- Variety – read up on which variety of tomato is the hardiest for your particular climate and that is disease resistant.
- Seeds – The cheapest way to grow Tomatoes is by planting seeds rather than buying starter plants. A small packet of seeds will cost hardly anything and give you a good crop. However, seeds will require a little more care and attention when you first plant them and should be placed on a sunny widow sill. Old toilet roll tubes are great to start your seedlings off in. When they grow their second set of leaves they can then be transferred to larger containers, such as old cartons and cut down bottles (make sure they have drainage holes).
- Sunny spot – When the plants have out grown their containers they should be transferred to a sunny place in the garden where they should get at least six hours of full sunlight every day. Support the plants with canes or up against a wire fence to enable them to grow upwards, use old string or panty hose to secure them lightly.
Planning Your Vegetable Garden The Frugal Way
Deciding what to grow and how you can save the most money is just a matter of asking yourself these questions:
- What do I like eating?
- What fruit and vegetables are the most expensive to buy?
- What tastes best when picked fresh rather than shipped half way round the world?
Once you have the answer to these questions it is simply a matter of reading up on these items and making sure that your climate is suitable for these plants to grow in.