Sunday, October 21, 2007

Frugal Gardening

With today's temperatures in the upper 70's near me, I'll be doing some cleaning of the yard to get it ready for next year's garden. I'm tripling the size to be around 450 sq feet, this year's was 150 sq feet. Here's some ways I've been keeping and plan on keeping expenses down on this:
  • Borrow one-time needed equipment. A gentleman from church has a farm nearby us and has offered if I need to borrow anything, just let him know. I'll be tilling the areas that have grass, so I'll borrow a small tiller then.
  • Organize your plans on paper or in an OpenOffice spreadsheet. I made a map of the garden with each cell a square foot and will make a timeline map of every 2 weeks of what is being planted/harvested during that 2 week time period.
  • Go organic. Another neighbor has llamas and horses, which I picked up free manure from (and thinking of contacting again soon so I have some for the spring ready to use). My garden this year grew better than the pesticide sprayed one across the street. Kill the bugs by hand the moment they come around and they won't have time to tell their friends.
  • Buy a tool only when your going to use it that day and you have nothing that is similar around your house. We converted plastic bottles into cloches to protect the plants during the cold, a large spoon from the kitchen to dig up potatoes, a small decorative basket for gathering up our crop.
  • Don't grow food you won't eat. I have 24 different plants planned for next year, all of them we use on a monthly basis around the house or enjoy when they are in season.
I'm not expecting at all for my garden to make me money in comparison to the work I'll be putting into it, but the pleasure of being able to go out front, grab a few herbs and vegetables, then go to the kitchen and cook them is well worth it. It will also keep me out of the stores as much as possible, since I'll have plenty to take care of.

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