We are all looking for ways to save money through any avenue possible. With the rising cost of daily living due to outrageous gas prices. We all feel the same cruel pinch in the pocketbook. It effects everything from groceries to the price we pay to clothe our children. I want to share with you some ideas and thoughts that might help you save some cash in the “feeding the family” department! My friend it is time to tap into the “Inner Farmer” that is hiding inside the deep recesses of your being!
So what is that you say? You don’t have room for a lavish vegetable garden? I beg to differ. Anyone can have a garden. Yes that even includes those who live in tiny apartments tucked so far into the corners that no one but them knows it is there. I will share with you a few ways to maximize your space and your resources no matter where you live.
If you have a small amount of land that you can use then have no fear there is hope. You would be surprised at how much you can harvest out of even the smallest garden patch if you manage your space correctly. You can use a small garden tiller and turn up a small patch of ground with maybe about 8 rows or more. You can plant things such as green beans and cucumbers that grow on vines. You can train these types of vegetables to run up instead of out thus maximizing your space. You can drive stakes about 3 ft long on each end of the row. You can then run twine from one end to the other weaving it back and forth and up and down to look like a fish net. You can simply train the vines to run up your make shift net. This type of growing vegetables on a vine makes the vegetable larger and reduces the risk of rot due to not being on the ground. While you are at it plant a row or two of corn. Corn is a vegetable that is easy to grow and since it grows up instead of out you can make better use of yours space. Also I would suggest that you plant some hardy tomatoes. You can place tomato baskets around the plants to keep the heavy fruit baring plants neat and standing tall. The list is endless as to what you can plant. Just use your imagination and the sky is the limit.
You can also build raised plant beds. You can build these handy boxes normally about 6 ft long and at least 3 ft wide and about 2 ft deep. You can use any type of wood to construct these handy boxes. You can fill these boxes with growing mix of your choice. Plants thrive in raised beds. This way of growing makes weeding your garden almost obsolete. You can also use the creative trick I mentioned above to grow vine type plants. Just train the vines to climb up a guide. This makes good use of your space since things are growing up instead of out. You can plant any type of plants in raised beds that you can grown in a traditional garden.
For those who are in apartments or those who just do not have any space at all. You can try container gardening. Just simply plant your garden in flower pots. Yes you heard me, FLOWER POTS. They can be moved around easily. If you have a patio or a terrace this idea is a wonderful way to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Tomato, bell pepper, eggplant, okra, squash and such grow great in containers. You can even plant root type veggies in deeper containers. These veggies would be things like radishes, potatoes, carrot, turnips. The key to any of these types of gardening is to know how to fertilize and water your plants. One very important thing is to make sure they get the proper amount of sunlight. You can even use all three types of gardening in conjunction with each other.
With a little elbow grease and dirt under the Ole nails you will be reaping the rewards of your harvest well into the fall. The pay back of doing the hard work yourself is more money in your wallet. It is hard in some areas of the US to buy fresh vegetables without taking out a 2nd mortgage on your home. In my next article I will touch base on the money saving options of preserving your bountiful harvest via canning, freezing & drying.