How to Save Money on Gardening II
Here are some more useful tips and methods on how to save money on gardening. This time, we will focus more on how to choose your seeds and plants and how to prolong the season to get the most of the plants in your garden.
Strong, healthy plants will give a much better harvest, which means more food in your kitchen. It also means you have to spend less money on food. These methods can save you a lot of money in the long run, all by giving you a lot of healthy food to enjoy.
Use Free and Cheap Seeds
There are many cheap seeds you can try. Some garlic varieties, such as elephant variety, are very affordable. They cost about 16 dollars per pound in a seed catalog, while they can be found for 3 bucks only in a local grocery store. While not all products from garden departments at grocery stores are great, you will be able to save some money on seeds.
Sometimes, you can even get them for free. If you have old potatoes in the house, simply plant them in your garden and use them for growing new potatoes. Also, you should learn how to save heirloom seeds so you will always know if seeds you can get in farmers market are good to be planted or not. Another way to save money on seeds is to find a friend and share seeds and 5 packs of bedding plants with them.
Look around for sources of free seeds or even for free sources of seeds. Internet is full of places where you can get stuff on discount. However, make sure to always buy from a reputable place. Use lumber yard and hardware stores. Their selection of seeds and other gardening materials may be limited, but they have good prices and you don’t have to pay for shipping.
Start Your Plants Early
Getting an early start on your plants is a good strategy that can save you a lot of money. Unless you live in a warm climate that is suitable for plant growing throughout the whole year, you will want to use the growing season as much as you can.
Starting your season early will help your plants get established before the insect population gets too big. It’s true that starting early bring certain risks, such as a late freeze, but more often than not, it’s very helpful to start early and it will help you save a lot of money.
Be Smart when it Comes to Canning
For the best results, don’t plan any complicated canning or preserving at first. You will need to do all of them in the hottest and busiest part of the summer, which can be a very overwhelming task. Freeze only a few major things, but do your best to eat everything you can fresh. Wait to do the canning until you get a better idea on what you really want to do.
If you happen to grow more than what you can eat, consider giving away some of it to friends or family. They will sure benefit from fresh vegetables. Only after all of this think about canning and preserving.
To preserve your food, it’s best to use simple, easy and low-cost methods, such as freezing, drying and bulk cooking. Don’t waste your money on fancy, expensive methods. Also, always make sure to preserve only the very best and eat those that are less than perfect first.
Keep Your Garden Going
For the best results, keep your garden going as long as possible. The easiest and cheapest way to achieve this is through succession planting. For example, instead of planting 10 cucumber plants all at one, plant a few every week or so. It will keep them coming.
As soon as one crop is finished, yank it up and plant something else on its place. Never hang onto failing plants just because they will still produce an occasional squash or a tomato.
It’s particularly important to take action around the middle of July (in zone 6) to clear all of the space and plant your fall garden. It is usually hot in July which will make your work more difficult, but it will sure pay out. You will get the fresh produce in September and October, which will further save you a lot of money.
Extend the Season with Protection
Protecting your plants against the cold can prolong the season and give you more of your plants. Use simple cold frames and plastic tunnels to shield your plants. They will extend your season and allow you to grow and harvest fresh produce well into winter.
These tips will allow you to have a very long season, which also means more fresh food for your family and a great saving in money. Unless you live in a very cold climate, you will probably be able to get some food from your garden at least 9 or 10 months a year.
Make sure to be informed about gardening and to always learn more. Read, visit websites and gather information. While gardening is sometimes very simple and basic, there are many tips and tricks you can learn to become an even better gardener.
Remember: a knowledgeable gardener will know how to choose the best seeds and seedlings, and also how to tell when a certain produce is ready to be harvested. Knowing these things will give you healthier plants and a better harvest. It will also save you a lot of money.