Sure, we’re buried in snow. And the ground is totally frozen.
But I can still think about spring and planting my garden.
Last year was my first attempt at planting a square foot garden. Armed with my copy of Mel Bartholomew’s All New Square Foot Gardening and the seedlings my step-mom-in law gave me, I grew my first vegetables.
I had several successes, a few failures, and I learned a lot. While I’m far from being any kind of gardening guru, I tasted enough success to make me interested in expanding my garden. I’m also learning about starting plants from seeds.
My early research into starting my own garden from seeds is that the start-up costs seem high. Grow lights? Heat mats? The garden catalogues and websites offer an extensive array of products I’m suppose to need.
So, I’m doing what any good frugal person would do. I’m making a list of what my goals are (i.e. what I want to grow). I’ll be using the free gardening printables from $5 Dinners to map out what I’m going to plant.
I’ll also be trying to reuse or re-purpose things I already have. Fortunately, I never toss a container for anything, so I still have the little seed starting pots from last years garden. A little compost will perk up the soil at virtually no cost. I’m also trying to figure out if there’s a way to use the parts from my kids’ old (and now recalled) cribs as a trellis. If I can figure out the logistics, I think it could mean some beans or peas in my future.
I barely had anything to start my garden with last year, so anything I purchase this year would be on the side of wants, with one exception: I need better supports for my tomato plants this year. I would like to have a few quality, useful tools, but spend the rest of my garden budget on seeds and plants. I’ll be watching for sales – both online and off – as we get closer to planting time.
I’ve been reading a bit of the gardening tips at Old Farmer’s Almanac, and will use their Best Planting Dates for Seeds as a guide. I also found the University of Minnesota Extension Service’s guide to starting seeds indoors to be very helpful.
Despite all this thinking and research, I still feel like I’m forgetting something obvious. Do you have any advice for a relatively new gardener? What types of things should I be thinking of? What are your must-have gardening tools? What are some ways you save money on planting your garden? Let’s hear your ideas!
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