Friday, March 23, 2012

Smart Money Tip and Gardening??

Most of us these days are trying to find any way we can save a buck. One of the oldest ways is to plant, grow and harvest your own fruits and vegetables from your own garden.

While in Washington there was snow on the ground yesterday that does not mean you can't start now. Many seeds can be started and grown inside...your house is an almost perfect green house.

Many places are having sales on gardening supplies including pots, soil, seeds, kits, and more.

Starting a garden can be very simple, you don't have to have a green thumb just learn how to follow directions.

~How to Start~

Container/Planter:

Start with any sort of container (look to our "quick craft" for a cute container). A container can be anything from an old plastic potted container from previous years, a soup can, jar, or you can buy one from the store. One thing that is important about a container is that you need to make sure your soil can drain. You can accomplish this by punching holes into the bottom of your plastic containers or tin soup cans. You will need many. In a soup can I would punch through 6-8 holes. By using a hammer and large nail the holes can be punched easily. If your using a glass jar you can simply add some small rocks or gravel in the bottom of jar. Soil will be placed on top of the rock. (For a 4" jar I place 1" rock.)

Some people also may want to think about a Jiffy Garden Starter Kit.
If you plan on having a larger garden (more than 10 planted items). These kits come in varies sizes ranging from 10 soil pellets to 72. They are also very easy to use and very effective when needing to transplant your plants. (I personally will be using one of these if we get to move.) Right now Home Depot has them priced at
$2.24 for the small 10 pod one up to $6.99 for the 72 pod one. Watch when you buy and don't get tricked,
all you need are the basic model one...there are some "self watering"ones that get more spendy.

Soil:
Once you have your container, soil and seeds are next on the list. I have never been picky on soil myself. It can be very overwhelming with all the different options and "enhancers" added into soil. Personally I have used dirt out of our back yard before and it still seemed to work. Though once I transplant my starts (plants I started growing inside) into my garden outside I did use soil. This year I am starting straight from soil.

Fred Myer has a sale on soil and garden supplies until tomorrow 3/24:
~2 for $8.00 Turf King® 20-Quart Potting Soil, 1.5 Cu. Ft. Planting Compost or 1 Cu. Ft. Top Soil
They also have a good price on their Strawberry Starts:
~$0.49 Strawberry Starts in 3" in a Pot

I'm sure you can find it just as cheap at Walmart as well.
You can also buy and Compare Soil at http://www.nextag.com/potting-soil/stores-html

Seeds:
Seeds are very inexpensive and can also be confusing. Lots of different prices and brands. Personally I always go cheap, cheap, cheap and they have always worked great for me and the end result tasted fantastic. In the past I'm able to get a couple of bags for $1.00. This year I will start at Walmart first for the cheapest pricing.

When selecting the seeds you want to plant in your garden you need to read the packet and be aware of many different things. 
 Don't do this when your kids or husband are hungry, grouchy or whinny.
Make sure to make this a fun experience.

Seed packet reading does take some time.
Here is a link to helpful insight on seed packet reading:

One major thing is how much space the plant will take up or how much room it needs to grow. It's hard to picture this because your holding a tiny seed packet.This sometimes is just a learning process. As you have a garden consecutively you will start to realize how much room these take to grow or how were you would plant them differently next year. One thing that does help is to keep up on pruning, weeding and harvesting to keep your garden less chaotic and messy.


Plant:
Now time to plant! This is the best part for kids to help with. Keep in mind if your soil has fertilizer in it your kids probably shouldn't help with the soil.
Take your container, place holes or rock in for drainage, soil, seeds and than more soil (the amount depends on the seed) and WATER! If planting flowers I will add fertilizer but I DO NOT when planting anything I may ingest.


Faster Growing:
One last hint is seed soaking. This is an old trick not most people know about. It is very helpful in speeding up how long it takes from planting the seed to seeing the seed sprout through your dirt, called germinating/germination period. Here is a very helpful link in explain the seed soaking process: http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/gardening-how-to/soaking-seeds.htm

No room for a garden??:
If you do not have any space to garden no worries! Here are some helpful hints:

Apartment Living or Small Backyard:
You can buy, find, or reuse large storage bins as gardens. Some do not have to be deep others do depending on what you are growing. Look to your seed packets for info on how much space they take. Carrots obviously need a deeper container. Make sure to place your gravel or punch holes in bottom. You can find these container even at goodwill, you do not need a lid. Though you may need to purchase more soil due to the fact you wont be planting in the ground.


Garden Plots:
contact your local community center, library, look in your paper or go to your local city info center (if you have one) and ask if there are local garden plots. Some times they are free other times you can rent a plot for a very low price. Or use your family and friends yards or gardens. As long as you share your rewards I'm sure they will be happy to share the space!



**Save your seed packets, follow the directions, prune, weed, harvest and SHARE!**

 Happy Gardening!
Get dirty~
Bree & J

Some of my fav gardening ideas from our Pinterest Board: http://pinterest.com/fhsjessi/farm-house-sisters/

Garden Markers. It looks expensive but it can be cheap!
Like?? Go to our Pinterest page and click on photo for link.
 
Another meaning to recycling. Cute garden containers.
Like?? Go to our Pinterest page and click on photo for link.

Space saving idea, you can plant below trellace too!
Like?? Go to our Pinterest page and click on photo for link.

Have a problem with water....water too much or not enough?? Free and easy way to continally water your plants..at the right time.
Like?? Go to our Pinterest page and click on photo for link.

Adorable...dont use chalkboard paint though! LOL!
Like?? Go to our Pinterest page and click on photo for link.

Dress up a 5 gallon bucket for your tomato plants or any plant!
Like?? Go to our Pinterest page and click on photo for link.
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