Benefits of Home Gardening
So, still wondering if home gardening is right for you? Wondering if a home garden can really save you money? First, let’s look at the benefits of starting a home garden.
1. Home Gardening Is Versatile
Some people think they need a huge yard to have their own garden, but nothing could be further from the truth. No matter how much space you have, you can always find room for a few plants. This is true even if you live in an apartment or only have a small porch. All you need is a DIY attitude and a bit of creativity.
2. Home Gardening Relieves Stress
Gardening is a wonderful activity to relieve stress. You’re outdoors, you’re getting exercise, and best of all, the activity often takes your mind off work and other stress in your life. I know it does for me!
3. Home Gardening Is a Family Activity
For some, gardening is a solo activity. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Why not ask your spouse and/or children to give you a hand in the garden? You may be surprised by how much fun you can all have together. Finding fun activities for the whole family to participate in can be tough and we often resort to spending a bunch of money to have fun, but working in a garden together costs nothing.
4. Home Gardens Save Money
If saving money on fruits and vegetables is your end goal, make sure you plant seeds for things you’ll actually enjoy eating. Some of the most popular options include tomatoes, green peppers, banana peppers, and zucchini.
However, you can maximize the money you save by being smart about what you grow. For instance, cool weather crops like carrots, potatoes, onions, and winter squash can be stored for quite a long time. When these vegetables are harvested, you can easily store them in your basement for several weeks, or even months, if you keep them packed in sawdust. So even if you can’t eat them right away, they’ll keep long enough for you to use them up over time.
5.You Can Grow Your Own Herbs and Spices
You probably already know that herbs are really expensive to buy in the store. Growing rosemary, basil, oregano, and other herbs and spices in your garden is a great way to save some money and diversify your crop.
For instance, I have several lavender bushes in my yard. I dry the lavender, make lavender infused olive oil and lavender shortbread cookies, and even sprinkle dried lavender in my carpets. I’m also getting into soap making (a great green small business idea), so I’ll have plenty of lavender to use in my homemade soaps.
6. Home Gardens Are Green and Sustainable
Buying natural organic food is expensive, but often desired due to all of the chemicals and genetic altering done by farmers nowadays. Growing your own fruits and vegetables is the most organic you can get! You’ll be helping the environment and saving money at the same time.
You can also save money and help your garden be more organic by creating your own compost at home. For instance, I have my own vermicomposting bin, which means I compost my food scraps with worms. It may sound gross, but worms are amazing at breaking down food and turning it into thick, rich compost.
How to Start a Home Garden
If you’ve never started a garden, you might be tempted to run out to Home Depot and buy a ton of seeds, dirt, and fertilizer.
Step 1: Look at Your Sun Availability
First, look at your yard. Where do you get the most sun? How much sun does each area get? One of my biggest mistakes when I started gardening was assuming that my garden needed 8 hours of sun every day. Thanks to my partly shady yard, this kept me from gardening for many years. But the truth is that many vegetables grow very well in part shade; that is, if they get at least 3 hours of sun, or consistent dappled sun, throughout the day.You can save money on your vegetables by purchasing them from independent farmers and nurseries, or starting seeds yourself. Big chain stores like Home Depot and Lowes usually have the most expensive prices on these plants.
Step 2: Look at Your Space
Now look at the land or space you have to work with. Remember, you don’t need a lot of space to grow a garden!If you’re working with limited space (like me), then you’ll want to consider two options: container gardening, and vertical gardening.Thanks to my tiny backyard, I have to think small. So I always use container gardening. I have pots of tomatoes and herbs sitting on my back patio right now. And, they’re doing great!
You can save a lot of money on your containers by shopping at garage sales. And, don’t limit your search to traditional terra cotta pots! For instance, you can grow herbs and greens in chipped teapots and vintage olive oil cans (as long as you put sand or stones at the bottom for drainage). These containers can be picked up for a song at garage sales or thrift stores, and have a lot more character than traditional terra cotta pots or plastic pots!
Step 3: Consider Your Watering Needs
How are you going to water your garden? Is the site you’ve selected easily accessed by your water hose? It’s important to analyze how you’re going to water your garden before you plant it. And, now is a good time to seriously consider investing in a rain barrel. I have two, and they are essential in the summer months for keeping my garden well watered.
Step 4: Plant Your Garden
Once you’ve analyzed your light, selected a site, and prepared the garden, you can now start planting! Make sure you give your plants a drink of water before you stick them in the garden; this wets the root ball and makes it less likely they’ll go into shock when you transplant them. Your garden will likely need water at least twice a week. Of course, this depends on how much rain you get, and what you’ve planted. Research the plants you’re growing so you’re informed on how much water they need. As a rule, it’s best to water either early in the morning or later in the evening; watering during the afternoon can actually burn your plants.
What We Grow
The following vegetables, fruits & herbs are gone in our own smart garden