‘’By sowing frugality, we reap liberty, a golden harvest.’’ – Agesilaus
No, he was not a gardener… or at least, not that we know of. Still, this gardening metaphor seems to be quite convenient for grasping the concept of saving money by being aware and diligent in your garden. Growing your own veggies and herbs at home reduces money spent on groceries, and it pays back even more in terms of quality and freshness of your food.
Table of Contents
Learn the basics
Being a beginner in gardening can be intimidating, and the hardest part is to start. Before starting to shovel, one should learn the basics, and the good news is… there isn’t much to it. What is necessary for the growth of practically any plant is a soil, the sun, and water. It is not a rocket science, you know your climate, learn about the soil (is it acidic or alkaline), and learn about the veggies, meaning, when to grow them, how much sun or water they need etc. There are two main categories of vegetables, a warm season and cool season crops. Cool season crops (beet, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, garlic, lettuce, onion, pea, radish, spinach etc) are those that are usually planted in two growing seasons, in the early spring and early fall, in order to avoid high temperatures. Warm season crops are mainly fruits (also bean, corn, cucumber, eggplant, muskmelon, pepper, sweet potato, tomato), and should be planted in one growing season that begins right after the last spring frost.
Plan the garden
Gardening has many forms, and if we exclude the type of gardens that costs a fortune and looks like Eden itself, the garden should be adjusted to available space that is suitable for growing. Depending on size and form, gardening can take place in your backyard, balcony or the kitchen. There are many veggies that can sprout by putting scraps in a water, and besides the obvious benefits, this may add a dash of décor on your kitchen window. For a balcony gardening, there are a number of ways to plant your greens, such as bucket gardening. If preferred, and it does seem more tasteful, old pots, jars, and bowls can be reused, and it will look like a rustic piece of heaven. Backyards can provide complete freedom of choices, whether you want to plant in the rows, or in containers.
Plant the garden
Planting the garden assumes you know what is it that you want to grow. Pick your favorite food, but make sure it is one that is easily preserved when it is out of season. Prepare the soil, by making it nutritious for the plants. A sure way to reduce the cost of your gardening is to make your own compost and to keep the ground properly watered. For that purpose, a simple garden hose reel can go a long way. Prepare your seeds or seedlings, and while seeds are a less expensive option, the advantage of seedlings is that it will grow faster. When the season kicks in, go out there and bow to the ground.
Commit to the garden
It would be a great thing to plant the seeds and simply wait for the harvest, yet it does not work that way. It works in the loveliest way of dedicating yourself daily to a process of producing a new life that will blossom soon. Make sure to have a natural pest control, and natural fertilizer. Natural control can be simple inter-planting some other plants that will drive away the unwanted insects and fertilizing can be done by mulching and spreading some table scraps, coffee grounds or tea bags. Some days it will be a simple walk through the garden, and some days it will be cutting the weed, picking, and watering. Visiting the garden on a daily basis is recommendable, but it is also rewarding and therapeutical.
Claim your freedom
Now, even though this sounds quite theatrical, it doesn’t mean that you run around your backyard in Braveheart manner, possibly with a carrot in your hand while roaring: ‘’Freedom!!!’’. No, it is more of a silent victory of breaking the plastic shackles of wild consumerism. Instead of buying a plastic lettuce, in a plastic bag with your plastic card, and leaving behind the trash that will dissolve and pollute the ground for the next century, you have chosen the other way. In every frugal garden, there is a tiny revolution going on that brings the golden harvest – healthy food and saved money.