Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Garden Frugality

I read an article in one of my organic gardening magazines (a free subscription, no doubt) a few months ago about a family planting their garden on a budget of like $50. I was intrigued because after all, what good is this garden thing if I can't pull it off frugally?

One thing I had going for me was the fact that a neighbor tills the garden for us each year. While I am always tempted to find $300 to pluck down on a manual tiller I accept the annual till and then use old fashioned elbow grease to keep the weeds out for the rest of the year.

Next up: plants. My plan to grow tomatoes from seed failed. I find tomatoes difficult to grow, like some mystical experience I just can't quite master. I don't know why but I've yet to have any success. Instead I took $20 and went off in search of nice healthy plants last weekend. The rules: stay under $20, get as many varieties as possible, and buy all local (and locally grown, hopefully).

Between Mount Eden Nursery, Cheeks Produce, Polk House Plants & Produce, and Garden Gate I picked up the following for $20:

1 Giant Tree
1 Mountain Fresh Hybrid
1 Manalucie Red
1 Chuck's Yellow Beefsteak
1 Razzleberry Hybrid
2 Pink
1 Celebrity
1 Floramerica
1 Big Boy
1 Green Zebra
1 Persimmon
2 Cherokee Purple
1 German Johnson
2 Yellow Jubilee
1 Better Boy
1 Grape Tomato
1 Beefsteak
1 Big Beef

I already had at home: 2 green pepper plants, 1 red pepper plant, and a jalapeno plant.
At the house I had planted: zucchini, straightneck and crookneck squash and pickling cucumbers. I also have white half runner beans leftover from last year and several packets of other green bean varieties bought during a buy one get one free Earth Day sale.

Which means all I needed were burpless hybrid slicing cukes and okra. I already had seeds for both at home.

Be frugal!

So, I planted a tray of Okra and Cucumbers. They started sprouting a couple of days ago when this thing showed up:


And burrowed itself in the middle of them. It's been there two days now and seems to show no sign of leaving. Meanwhile in the overgrown 'bird retreat' there are a dozen baby frogs hopping around. It seems the pond has brought all the creatures to the yard.

At least I had good intentions.


Sarah said...

Isn't gardening so rewarding? Especially when you can do it on a budget. This year, since Andrew is gone and I didn't know just how much time I would find for gardening, so I didn't want my mom to haul her tiller down for the small garden I wanted, so I'm trying something new this year...growing our veggies right out of the potting soil bags (as I saw in Mother Earth News.) Hoping it goes well.

Adding you to my blogroll...hope ya don't mind.

April said...

Not at all! Thanks for visiting!

It's so rewarding! You'll have to let me know how the potting soil bag thing goes, I'm super intrigued.