It’s that time of year! Time to get up to your favorite greenhouse and get your plants picked out! I’m really struggling this year because I will NOT be able to have a garden! BOO! Since I’m living in an apartment at the moment, I don’t have any place for one 🙁 But my dad is going to have one this year so maybe I can help with that!
Growing a garden is not only economical, it helps you become more self-sufficient. I think most people would welcome this considering how food prices continue to climb. There is nothing better than having fresh produce at your disposal!
Grow your own fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs.
There are a variety of different ways that you can grow your own food, including planting your own vegetable garden, using square foot gardening and even container gardening techniques in order to grow a lot of food in very small spaces. I don’t recommend starting plants from seeds when you begin. You will have the best luck by visiting your local greenhouse and selecting plants that are 2-4 inches tall. The plants will have already been started, increasing your chance for success!
Take the capabilities of your garden further by using organic mulch from local sources and using homemade compost or free manure in order to enrich the soil in your garden. My secret weapon has always been a mix of compost and epsom salts. My garden last year was approximately 10×20 and I put down 2- 20 lb bags of compost and 8-10 lbs of epsom salts on top of that. Then I turn the soil over. You can also do this in stages. Put one 20 lb bag of compost down and 5 lbs of epsom salts one week, then repeat the next week and turn the soil. This works GREAT! I always have huge plants that produce tons of vegetables! (The picture at the top of this post was from my garden in 2009 – my garden looked mutant compared to all the others! It was HUGE)
You can grow your own potatoes inexpensively, then save the fingerling potatoes to plant next year. Potatoes grow well in a barrel, if you have the space to do this, it’s a great way to grow vegetables that don’t take up very much space.
If you live in an area where you have a lot of space, consider creating your own small orchard and growing your own fruit. You can even get planter-pot-size varieties of many fruit trees. I have never tried this but I think it would be a great way to get fruit!
Now if you are really handy and have the space, you can extend your growing season by building your own greenhouse. There are DIY options as well as kits that you can buy and assemble in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. If this is something that interests you, check out the library for books on this subject.
Being self sufficient isn’t as hard as it sounds. Doing little things like growing herbs or tomatoes on your porch can help you save money. If plants don’t interest you, buddy up to someone who has a garden! Gardeners are always looking for people to take their produce!