Reducing the start up costs of growing your own produce

Today’s article sharing gardening tips is a sponsored post.

raised bed garden

For many of us, the dream is to live self-sufficiently. It may be a simple life, but trading in stressful 9 – 5 hours for a vegetable filled back garden and free range chickens providing delicious eggs for breakfast every morning  is a haven for busy moms and dads.

While owning a small farm is probably out of limits for most, starting a vegetable garden is something we can all aspire to do. Not only does it provide a constant supply of fresh, seasonal veg sans harmful pesticides and chemicals, it provides month on month savings which can slash hundreds, if not more, off your annual food bill.

The trouble with growing your own veggies is that the initial start-up cost of a vegetable garden can be costly. Bespoke Greenhouse specialists Hartley Botanic have created a list of ways to reduce this initial cost, meaning growing your own produce can happen quicker than you thought.

gardening tools

Only buy the essentials

If you look at the recommended start-up kit for gardening, you’ll see that everything from a spade to a machine that costs thousands which does the laboring for you is included. When starting a vegetable garden, stick to the basics such as a trowel or spade, a rake, gardening gloves and scissors. These are more than enough to get the initial digging and planting done and won’t set you back much in terms of cost. As you go in, you can add tools here and there when you have the need, or the money.

Repurpose existing resources

There are plenty of resources already in your home which can be used in the garden to reduce costs. Garlic and cayenne pepper can be made into a natural pesticide (see recipe here), sturdy branches can be used for vegetable supports and egg shells, coffee rinds and fruit or vegetable leftovers can be used for organic compost.

Buy second-hand tools

High quality gardening tools are built to last, meaning buying second-hand won’t put you at a disadvantage. Thrift shops, eBay and Craigslist are all excellent places to secure cheaper tools – you may even be able to get some for free if you’re willing to pick them up.

Trays of Seedlings

Start with seeds and cuttings

The fastest way to grow fruit and vegetables is to buy starter plants and bare root trees, however this can quickly add up as the cost per plant is much higher than growing them yourself from scratch. Friends and family who are already keen gardeners may have plant cuttings which you can grow perfectly good plants from so ask away – the worst that happens is they say no! The ones you do buy, buy as seeds or sets and grow them in a plant pot in a warm, bright patch in your house until they’re hardy enough to be placed outside.

Resist the urge to overplant

A mistake many budding gardeners make is to plant more than they can eat in an attempt to save more money. Sadly, this food often goes to waste – there is only so much you can eat and the resale value is low. Salads and lettuce will resprout if leaves are picked off so don’t need to be grown in abundance, whereas root vegetables grow much slower but can be stored for long periods of time so can be given more room to grow.

Research your produce

Before buying seeds, spend some time researching hardy varieties as these are more likely to resist disease and last year upon year. Once you’ve bought and planted the seeds, research how to care for them to ensure the best conditions for a healthy crop.

 

Now is the time to get started!  So what is on your to-do list to get your garden planted this year?

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