Planting your own fruits and vegetables can be a rewarding and healthy hobby. There is no greater joy for a gardener than harvesting fresh tomatoes, lettuce, or strawberries that were lovingly planted and grown. In addition, as a gardener, you can save a lot of money on your grocery bill. But did you know there are ways to save money before and during the planting of your garden?
It's tempting to buy starter plants from the nursery each season. You feel like you're getting a jump on the growing season and the plants are already established. But did you realize by starting a little earlier than usual, you can save a ton of money by planting seeds or cuttings? You can propagate vegetable and fruit plants from store-bought seeds, seeds harvested at the end of last season, or seeds saved while cooking. You can start seeds in indoor planters on a sunny windowsill or a greenhouse. According to Rural Sprout, some plants, such as carrots, onions, and celery can be grown from cuttings over and over again. Just save the cuttings when you're preparing a meal and you'll never have to buy plants again.
Make Your Own Fertilizer
Proper nutrition is crucial to a healthy vegetable garden. Depending on the condition of your garden soil, it will need varying amounts of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and other macronutrients. By adding a homemade compound fertilizer to your garden soil, you can prevent or fix problems that lead to poor plant growth and yield, and you can save money. The water in your fish tank is a rich source of nitrogen. Just pour it onto the soil when cleaning your tank. The ashes in your fireplace are great sources of potassium. Just mix them thoroughly into the soil around the base of the plants. Next time you mow your lawn, save the grass clippings. They contain nitrogen and phosphorus. If you've started a compost pile, VTI recommends that waste typically needs to compound for a few months before you can use it in your garden.
Unless you have seedlings or newly transplanted plants, you probably don't need to water daily. Check your soil moisture by sticking your finger at least one inch into the soil surrounding the plant. If it's moist, skip the watering. According to GrowVeg, the most efficient and cost-effective way to water your garden is with a drip irrigation system. A drip system puts the water close to the roots and decreases wasteful evaporation.
It's never a bad idea to start growing your own fruits and vegetables. With these money-saving ideas, maintaining your garden is easier and less expensive than you think.