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Starting a Garden Without a Big Investment

So you're ready start a garden -- but where do you begin? Gardening seems expensive, but it is possible to start a garden without a big investment by gardening in the ground and purchasing only what is necessary.

Considerations for your Garden Plot


  • How is your soil? Do you have red clay? Rocks galore? If so, don’t let that stop you! Container gardens are easy, pretty and low maintenance. Anything from plant pots to coffee cans can be used for a garden. Drill ¼” holes four inches apart in the bottom of water-tight containers for drainage.
  • How much space do you have? The most frugal option for starting a garden is planting in your own backyard soil. If you have decent soil, just remove the grass and add some compost. If your lawn consists of invasive Bermuda Grass, check out my eBook "How to Get Rid of Bermuda Grass...Permanently!" to learn how to remove this "devil grass" and keep it out.
  • Plant what you eat. Focus primarily on growing what you really like to eat and give these crops priority in your garden. 
  • How much time do you have? While you might want to avoid orchids and citrus, there are plenty of plants that thrive with little maintenance. Believe it or not, lettuce is my favorite low maintenance plant. In your container or prepared soil, sprinkle loose-leaf lettuce seeds and water thoroughly. In a few days you will see sprouts!
  • What is your budget? Sure, raised beds are pretty, but if you are waiting to be able to afford the frames, soil and compost, in order to plant then you are cheating yourself out of free food. If you can afford it, by all means, get exactly what you want! If you can't, start a garden without a big investment by digging up the backyard with a spade.

Don't Worry about Perfection

Many garden professionals would try to convince you there is a “right” way to garden, but don’t believe it! If we look at nature herself, she doesn’t form neat rows or perfectly manicured bushes. I believe in reckless gardening, the act of gardening as a learning process and an opportunity to enjoy the journey. We don’t garden for the harvest, we garden for the adventure. The harvest is simply a benefit.

While we are on the subject of benefits, there are endless benefits of growing outdoors. We all need a daily dose of vitamin D, some fresh air, and room to breathe. Not only is it good for us, it’s good for our babies. Children should know where food comes from. Is someone having a bad day? Well, just try to stay grumpy under a grape trellis or surrounded by the aroma of roses.

Knowing your limitations is the first step of gardening. Identify what you have and work with it.

What would you like to grow in your garden?

 

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The Restoration Garden by Tiffany Selvey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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