Money is tight for many, and cutting the food bill is essential. These handy tips will help you to build a budget-friendly food garden.
You might be shocked to find out how easy it is to build a budget-friendly food garden with almost no investment.
You need to consider several things if you are looking to learn how to build a budget-friendly food garden. First and foremost, you should know that this type of gardening can actually help you save money.
You will learn from some of the tricks and tips we’ve picked up over the years and use them to feed yourself, your friends, and your neighborhood.
Ready to start saving, huh?
If you have children, you may want to consider growing fruits and vegetables that do not require you to purchase any additional food to harvest in the garden.
For example, lettuce, radishes, and zucchini. These are all cheap to grow in your garden and save you money by being free or low-cost fruits and vegetables.
First Step: Work with what you already own.
An older mentor gave us this pearl of wisdom decades ago, and through the years, it has taught us immensely. Many people believe they need thousands of shells for top-of-the-line supplies, or they won’t produce their own crops.
It couldn’t be any farther from the facts.
You’re likely to have a few things around your house right now that will help you launch your budget-friendly food garden.
Don’t get lost in aesthetics or something like that right now. Find a notepad and a notebook, and take stock of what you’ve got around you.
Take advantage of the use of natural resources.
Are you living in a forested location? If so, you’re fortunate. The trees are more plentiful than most people know.
Are there hilly areas in the vicinity? Then search for patches of dark, fertile soil in the lower areas where drainage occurs. It can have a fudge-like consistency and be nutrient-dense and full of worms.
If there are “no trespassing” signs everywhere, you should usually harvest some of this to combine with your own garden soil at home. Apply any nearby sand or gravel to the aeration while you’re at it.
Transplant however it is you can. Winning free seeds (which we’ll touch soon) is fine, but so is planting wild food that grows nearby.
Raspberry and blackberry bushes can be transplanted easily, and occasionally mushrooms can also be transplanted. If you have enough room on your farm, consider transplanting species such as hazelnut bushes or young elderberry trees.
In autumn, pick the seeds from the plants that you would like to grow in your own garden. Lambsquarters, for example, are great examples of nutritious, tasty wild greens that are suitable for building a budget-friendly food garden, edible garden.
Possible Plant – Growing Containers:
When you’re looking out for supplies to the land, check about your home to see what you can produce food in. Generally, if it can retain water, it can hold up growing media as well.
Wash huge containers of chili, onions, etc., after you’ve used their contents, then punch holes in their bottoms for drainage. Add well-draining potting soil with mulch for water preservation. Using them as planter pots for spices, chili peppers, or small-scale vegetables such as purslane.
These aren’t going to be the most classy growing containers around, but they are efficient. They’re perfect for growing potatoes.
Start your plants in single tires packed with compost-rich soils. Then add more tires—and more soil—to the top as the plants grow.
If you don’t have a few used tires in your driveway or garden shed, ask your nearest garage if you should raid their discard pile.
Plastic containers and Buckets :
When your area moved to tall, wheeled recycling bins rather than small, squatted blue and green ones, many big plastic containers were lying around.
So, you can drill holes in the bottoms and lower sides for drainage and used them to grow root vegetables.
You can do the same thing for trash cans, containers, etc. Sure, plastic isn’t perfect for many people wanting to stop synthetics, but we’re trying to work with what we can do here.
A part of designing a budget food garden is a combination.
Old bookcases and drawers:
We managed to score a vintage pair, narrow IKEA bookcases that someone left on the garbage day on the sidewalk.
One we’ve turned into a cold frame, and the other is a rising bed for six different kale varieties. We just drilled holes in their backs before we placed them in the garden to allow them to drain properly.
Drawings from old dressers are working very well for this reason, too. Once again, make sure you dig drainage holes and prepare carefully what you place in them. Since they are not especially deep, select shallow-rooted plants such as lettuces and herbs.
Old Eavestroughs and Gutters:
Talking of shallow-rooted plants, old eavestroughs are great for growing greens, vegetables, and edible flowers. Save gutters on your own roof if you repair them, or keep an eye out as others discard them during renovation projects.
Lock them together and hang them on the side of your building. Choose the sunniest side for sun-loving plants and the shaded side for lettuce and other hardy greens.
This is not only a cheap and simple way to grow food: it is also a brilliant method of space-saving vertical gardening.
Empty Bottle Planters:
Speaking of vertical planting, you can use old soda/water bottles to cultivate upside-down food plants. The best plants for this approach are the nightshades and the species that emerge on the vine.
With this approach, try growing tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, melons, squashes, and pumpkins.
DIY Planter Beds:
You’d be surprised by what you can do to build elevated garden beds. My partner has assembled several of hers from fallen hardwood trees, and I’ve designed some of hers from local stones. We’ve also reclaimed cider bricks, wood, and other materials from old ruins that we’ve discovered in the forests.
Second Step: Collect Free Seeds and Plants Whenever and However Possible
The only thing we’re going to repeat is that these are the best ways to start (or continue to build) a budget-friendly food garden. After all, nothing but being free says “saving.”
In addition to the approaches listed above, note that you can also cultivate food from seeds that you already have at home. You could also have seeds for several different edible plants in your fridge or pantry right now!
Can you use spices such as fennel or dill? Guess if they’re going to grow if you plant them?
What about the “off” items in the refrigerator? If you have a regular field cucumber, plant or store the seeds and grow your own.
You’re going to be able to grow full gardens with detritus leftovers on farmers’ markets. Get a conversation with some of the local growers. Let them know that you’re going to start a food garden, and ask if they’re comfortable letting you keep bits that have been compromised or stomped on during the day.
Items like tomatoes often drop out of stalls and display tables. Even if they are split open, you can likely save at least 100 seeds from the average ripe tomato. If all these seeds are grown into mature plants, and each of these plants can yield about 20 lbs during the growing season… well, you’re doing the math.
The very same goes for many other vegetables that are packed with seeds. Of course, these are cucumbers but also sweet and spicy peppers, melons, squashes, and pumpkins.
Don’t forget about the different cuttings and scraps. Plant the green onion bulbs once you’ve harvested all their green leaves, and they’ll grow full-size again.
Did the market gardeners offer you herb cuts? Set them in water (and change that water regularly) until they start rooting. Then pop it in the soil.
Any hairy, leggy potatoes left in the bottom of the bin? Grab them, and plant them, too.
Third Step: Take Advantage of Community Resources
Did you know that a lot of social groups have tool-lending libraries? Seed banks have recently become extremely popular, with more people starting to grow their own food. As their popularity has increased, so is the need for a variety of garden tools.
Since they can be so expensive, lending libraries sign anything from trowels and watering cans to rakes and rototillers.
If you’ve not seen any of these ads in local papers, try talking to other gardeners in your area. They may be able to guide you to places where you would borrow these items for free.
Also, consider contacting local edible landscaping advisors. Now and then, they give pro bono planning for community garden projects.
Local charities and other places of worship often have bulletin boards and other resources that will help you prepare your own garden.
You might even find others with similar interests, which means that you may utilize resources.
As you can see, there are indeed several different options applicable for your budget-friendly food garden. Borrow or trade whatever you can, and use what’s at your disposal for free. With a little creative planning and construction, you can grow a ton of food for nothing.
It would help if you also looked into getting the right edibles for your garden. This means buying strawberries, onions, carrots, cucumbers, and peppers. These are all inexpensive vegetables that are going to be great additions to your table.
You can also build a compost bin or place a couple of compost bins out in your garden to collect the organic waste you produce.
If you have a small garden, then you can easily keep several varieties of produce year-round. Some examples of these would be strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, and cucumbers.
You can also make your own juice with strawberries and oranges by simply picking the fruit out of a container and placing it in your juicer. It is not difficult at all. Other fruits that you can grow are blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and pears. Pineapples and kiwi are also some of the fruit that you can grow.
When building a budget-friendly food garden, you will need to pick a spot that will receive the most sun possible. This means that your garden should receive direct sunlight during the morning, afternoon, and nighttime. Make sure to avoid putting the canopy over your plants because it will interfere with their average growth.
Also, remember to pick sturdy, solid containers built with a lid constructed from plastic. This is going to ensure that the contents stay fresh. You can easily find a variety of great, inexpensive plastic covers at any grocery store.
It really is not difficult to build a healthy and beautiful garden for your family to enjoy. Start by getting a good book on gardening. There are several great books that you can buy, and they will go a long way towards helping you understand exactly how you should go about constructing a garden.
Plus, you will have inside tips that will help you eliminate many of the problems people new to gardening run into when they get started. Follow the steps outlined in these books, and you will be well on your way to enjoying all of the benefits of gardening.
- The Mother Earth News Guide to Vegetable Gardening: Building and Maintaining
- Straw Bale Gardens Complete
Once you know how to build a budget-friendly food garden, you may want to consider getting some seeds. This will make it a lot easier to choose plants that will grow very well in your garden. Plus, buying seeds is much cheaper than purchasing already grown plants.
Once you have the seeds, you can then begin to put the plants in the garden. Just be sure that you water the plants often and that they do not become over-watered.
If you are a beginner, it is a good idea to start with some inexpensive soil. This will make it easier for you to build up your soil once you know what you are doing.
Some people like to use clay to build their soil. This is a great idea because it can withstand a lot of heat and moisture without becoming soggy or moldy.
Other people like to add organic materials to the soil, such as peat moss. This can also help to make it a better environment for your plants to grow in.
Soil preparation is always an important aspect of learning how to build a budget-friendly food garden. It is not difficult, but you must be prepared to do a lot of work.
Just remember to start with inexpensive materials, and you will be able to build up a beautiful and healthy garden that will be so easy to maintain. Good luck!