Spring Season - Grow A Garden to Save Money
Start Off Small
Seeds are always going to be cheaper than purchasing seedlings. But if starter plants are the way you want to go, try purchasing them in 6-packs. A half dozen seedlings are still much more affordable than one large plant in a gallon-sized container.
You could benefit from incorporating some herbs in your garden such as basil, mint, oregano, thyme and parsley. You can add that extra taste to your meals without having to purchase fresh herbs at the market, which can add up quickly. Best of all, if you have more herbs than you can use, simply dry them or suspend them in olive oil and freeze them for use later.
Pick Up Some Free Seeds
Check Craigslist for free seeds. If their gardens are thriving, many local gardeners will offer free seeds or seedlings to help out fellow cultivators. Also, check with your neighbors and see if they have any seeds they’d be willing to give or trade. You can also invest in heirloom seeds from a variety of online sources, or contact your local extension office.
Plant What You Will Use
Keep in mind that planting a garden is somewhat pointless if you do not grow things you and your family will enjoy eating. Consider growing carrots, tomatoes, beets, spinach, lettuce, and cucumbers. They’re easy to grow and chances are, you’ll actually have some use for them come dinner time.
Check Your Growing Zone
Always be sure to check your growing zone before starting your garden, as some plants will be better options depending on where you live in California. You can check your plant hardiness zone here.
Stagger Your Planting Times
The last thing you want is to get stuck with one huge harvest all at once, so it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re staggering your planting times by a week or so to ensure a steady stream of produce throughout the summer. If you still end up with more food than you and your family can use, share your bounty with your neighbors and co-workers.
Enrich Your Soil
The best produce comes from the best soil. Just like us, plants need to eat healthy to be healthy and thrive. Good soil means bountiful harvests and fewer pests and diseases, so be sure to enrich your soil using eggshells, used coffee grounds, vegetable scraps, fruit peels, grass clippings, etc. to create a compost your plants will thrive on.
It is important to make sure your garden is getting the proper care and attention it needs on a daily basis. Besides keeping your plants properly hydrated and your beds free of weeds, you can keep track of any problems they may arise, like pests and diseases.
Gardening is a win, win, win pastime. It’s eco-friendly, it saves you money on groceries and it offers you a way to enjoy the spring beautiful weather while being active around your home. So why not have a little gardening fun this spring? You’ll see first-hand what a little bit of time outdoors can do for your health and your finances.
Note: The content provided in this article is only for informational purposes, and you should contact your financial advisor about your specific financial situation.