By: Tim Graham
Each year that passes the economy always seems tighter, and everyone looks at ways to save some money. There is one way that can save you a bundle against your grocery bill rather than it growing out of control as they always have a habit of doing.
Growing your vegetables has become a big thing for many people no matter what space they have where they can grow. With minimum outlay, you can have a vegetable garden growing in next to no time.
Here are some simple tips that will help you to reap the best healthy vegetables for you and your family.
Your Growing Area
Vegetable gardening beginners undertake doesn’t have to be a full-sized vegetable garden. Ideally, a bed size would be 10ft by 16ft, yet not everyone has this area available. Two simple solutions for this are either a raised bed that can be constructed almost anywhere and only requires four pieces of lumber. 2 at 8ft in length and two at 4ft in length.
This lumber should be 10-12 inches in depth in total. Fasten these together and fill with good quality topsoil and mix in some fertilizer and your good to go.
The second option is for container gardening, and any container that has a depth of around 10 inches in depth can be used, much the same as hanging baskets.
Vegetables to Grow
As you are looking to save money by growing your vegetables, you want the ones that will yield the best crops without the minimum of effort and take the most amount of time. Here are the five best vegetables that grow quick and can help you save those extra pennies.
Herbs – These can be planted in any containers and grown in windowsills or window boxes. Once they have started growing, you can snip at them as you require them and they will replenish themselves.
Bell Peppers – This is a great money saver. What it costs you for one or two bells peppers in the store you can grow a bag full. You can reap an entire host of colors as well from just one variety, yellow, red or orange and they all taste much better than the store ones you used to buy.
Green Beans – This can include pole beans. All you need is warm soil and plenty of sun, and once these are growing, they keep on producing. Support them with poles or let them grow up chicken wire or your fence and you can pick beans as needed.
Tomatoes – To make these even more accessible to grow you can opt for a bush variety that you can grow in hanging baskets.
This is ideal for the over 50’s as you do not have to bend and stretch. These also keep producing as they grow so picking a few for a healthy salad has never been so easy.
Lettuce and Spinach – These take around a month to grow, so they are kinda fast producers. Choose leafy types of lettuce, and you can just pluck the leaves as you need them.
Caring for your Plants
No matter where you are growing your veggies, they can always do with a good dose of compost (fertilizer) to give much-needed nutrients. If you have to purchase these, you are missing on one of the best things you can do to save money.
Making your compost. It does take a little time for things to break down to a level where it can be used but it pays dividends. You can quickly make your vermicomposting bin and use the power of worms to break down all your food scraps. This saves waste, and your veggies will thank you for it.
Sun and Watering
Your veggies do require quite a bit of water during the warmer months. This will add some to your water bill yet what you save on your groceries is worth that little expense.
If your area does have rain, you can capture this and use this for watering your veggies rather than using mains fed water. A couple of large drums which are strategically placed can quickly fill with rainwater, and it is healthier for your vegetables as it has not been treated.
When watering, raised beds and containers do require more frequent watering as they drain much quicker than regular soil. Moreover, if you are growing on the ground every other day is ideal or if you see the top inch of soil is dry.
Water on an evening to make sure the water has time to sink in before evaporating or the sun scorching your plants.
Although there is extra work, growing from seeds or veggies you have that have sprouted can save a lot compared to buying established plants.
Don’t buy peat pots or seed starting kits, use plastic cups or egg cartons. You can even ask your local garden center if they have any spare black plastic pots they wish to get rid of.
If you want to buy established plants (herbs) check local farmers markets, these can be a third of the cost at other places.
If you have a bird or rodent problem nibbling at your veggies. Cut an old water hose into lengths of 3 or 4 ft. in length. These rodents and birds often think they are snakes and tend to shy away from your garden.
BIO: Tim Graham writes for the YardandGardenGuru.com. He is very passionate about yard care, power tools and gardening. Outside of writing Tim usually finds himself knee-deep in lawn clippings, weeds, and grandchildren.