If you remember from my 2015 goals video I am along with Huw and Patrick are doing the Frugal Garden Challenge. We will be working to not only show that you can garden cost effectively but it can produce great results!
So on to the tips!
Tip 1: The initial list
Write down all of the fruits and vegetables that you purchase from the grocery store. This is easy to do if you save your receipts for a few weeks.
This will give you your initial list.
The second part of tip 1 is to look up if you can grow the fruits and veggies in your zone. This should be fairly easy to do. What I did to find my growing zone was hop on google and searched growing zone Edmonton and it told me I was in Zone 3 with and an average between 120 to 140 frost free days.
Then all you have to do is search each crop and often they will have a hardiness zone and days to ripeness. As long as your zone is higher and the average frost free days are longer you should be able to grow if a well lit garden.
Tip 2 Pricing the crops
This is an easy one to do take a look at the receipts you have been saving or take a quick run through the grocery store. Finding out which vegetables cost the most in your area will help you save more money by focusing on the costly crops as appose to the cheaper ones.
That said the caveat to this tip is grow what you enjoy goring. Gardening is not just a utilitarian excursive but a cultural experience and great hobby.
Tip 3 Save your Seeds
Seeds are usually the most cost effective way to grow your plants. Saving seeds from plants is usually free or very very low cost. if you have a surplus you can trade seeds on lots of local sites to increase the number of varieties you have to plant.
The next best thing is hopping on a seed buying website.
When you plant the seeds you can make them really stretch if you save them in a dry dark area and only plant one see each time when you need them. This avoids the loss of viable seeds through thinning.
Tip 4 Use Local Free Resources
Now that you have your plants growing its time to think about feeding your plants. If your soil is healthy it should have more then enough nutrients for your plants. I generally add moderate amounts of free resources you can find in most communities.
Things like fall leaves, municipal wood chips and used coffee grounds can be added as a mulch to the surface of your soil and will not only feed your plants over the long term but will keep weeds down and help retain moisture!
So finding these resources in your community will help once you get out and grow your garden.
I would love to know how you save money in your garden!