Gardening is a safe, low-cost way to help lower your grocery bill significantly. It also helps you to supplement your diet with a variety of healthy, fresh vegetables that can improve the taste of your dishes. Initially, it may be tempting to buy everything ready-made, which can be expensive or, instead, you can use the following tips which have been supplied by Barmekin Groundcare and have a garden started for very little financial outlay.
First, plan your garden on paper ahead of time. Many people forgo this step, and realize too late they have run out of space, and their vegetables are too close together. Confer with your seed packets, the internet, and agricultural reference books to see how much space each plant needs. Then divide up your garden accordingly, taking into consideration that you may not need as many of one particular vegetable. If your family eats a lot of potatoes, but only eats carrots occasionally, planting the same amount of carrots and potatoes is a waste of carrot seeds and potential potato space.
Have a seed exchange with other gardeners to increase the variety of your crops while keeping cost low. It is rare, especially in small plots, for gardeners who plant correctly to use an entire packet of seeds. Trade them some of their seeds for some of yours, and you will only ever have to buy a small number of seed packets.
Save seeds from your vegetables for next season. Use these seeds to grow new plants next season, in the same 'pedigree' of the vegetables you grew. By doing this, you can repeatedly get the same size and quality of vegetables without worrying about changes in the manufacturing of seeds that may leave the actual seed packets unavailable.
Make your own compost! Not only does this cut down on the amount of trash you will produce each week, it also allows you to fertilize your garden and make your soil more rich in nutrients, without paying for bags of soil or manure.
Ask your friends and family to donate extra containers for container gardening. Many people have empty tubs, bins, pots, baskets, and other containers that, when filled with dirt, would grow plants very well. By getting these for free from friends and relatives, you ensure that your garden can continue to grow.
Make your own insect spray. Not only will this spray ward off insects that can damage your plants, but it will not put unnecessary chemicals on and around your produce, possibly contaminating it. Using 3 quarts of water, 2 cups of dried, finely chopped cayenne peppers, and 2 tablespoons of bottled purse horseradish, you can make a natural spray that is not harmful to pets or plants. Bring all the ingredients to a boil, then let sit for an hour. After it cools, drain out the solids and put the liquids in a spray bottle.
Buy your gardening tools at discount stores to save on cost. Expensive tools may hold up better, but gardening is primarily done with the hands. As a result, spending hundreds of dollars on expensive tools is unnecessary. Buying clearance or discounted gardening tools at the end of the summer is a great way to save money on the tools you need for growing your own vegetables.
Gardening can be a lot of work, and money, if you don't concentrate on the goal at hand: growing your own food. Using the tips above will allow you to have a simple, inexpensive garden that you can reap the benefits of for years.