Money’s becoming tighter every year, but we have found a way to save some money, and that’s by starting a vegetable garden to save on the grocery bills, and we are not alone.
Because we’ve become vegetable gardeners, we have also started eating healthier, the more we learn. We are also feeling more energetic because of the exercise and good eating.
Every year our lawn is getting a little smaller and our veggie garden a little bigger. I like the idea that we spend more time in the garden than behind the lawnmower.
Being A Vegetable Gardener Isn’t All That Hard
Like most things in life, there is some learning to be done, so we pay attention to all the vegetable gardening tips we find online and from friends.
We learned that vegetable gardening is like real estate, where it’s all about location. Get your garden started where it will get the most direct sunlight because a veggie garden will need about 6 or 8 hours of it each day.
I’ve talked about this before, but just because you don’t have a backyard doesn’t mean you can’t do some vegetable gardening. I started my first tomato garden as a container garden on an 11th-floor balcony, which got lots of summer sunlight. When we rented a home where we couldn’t dig in their yard, we used container gardening to grow vegetables.
Below are a few vegetable gardening tips that will help you get started correctly.
1. Start With A Garden Size That’s Manageable
I have wanted a vegetable garden for many years but wanting and doing are two different things. I wasn’t 100% sure I would stick with it, so I started a tiny vegetable garden to be sure I wouldn’t start it and give up after the first year.
It turns out I love vegetable gardening, and in the second year, I increased our 4×4 foot garden to something like 4×8 foot and kept increasing it each year. It’s now about 10×20 feet, and if I have the energy, I will make it even bigger for 2013.
When I talk about the energy, I am referring to the fact we have a few trees along our property line that have grown 8 or 10 feet taller since we started, and I have to cut them down before next spring.
2. Buy And Use The Correct Garden Tools
We had a few garden tools that we found here when we bought the place, and now I know why they left them behind, it’s because they were all rusty with wooden handles that were cracked and full of splinters.
Since then, we have purchased all new garden tools and keep them clean, so they will last for many years to come. We do like to buy them at the end of the gardening season here in the USA when we can find outstanding deals in some gardening supplies and can afford better tools so that you can buy gardening tools from here:
What Tools Do You Need:
- a spade
- a garden fork
- a hoe
- a hand weeder
- a wheelbarrow
- a rake
- a garden hose
- rain barrels
Don’t buy tools just because they have a good price on them. Please do some research and look for the name brands that stand behind their work and from a store that allows returns.
Jenny and I don’t have a rain barrel yet, but we will be looking in a few weeks once gardening has ended for the year, and stores want to get rid of stock. We may even be able to buy two at the regular price of one.
As for a wheelbarrow, we decided to buy a regular single wheelbarrow, after borrowing our neighbors and finding out that it wasn’t difficult to balance like I thought it might be. Thanks, Geoff.
3. Join A Garden Seed Club
We joined a seed club by Mike The Gardener and get 4 packs of garden seeds every month in the mail.
You can search your favorite search engine to find which growing zone or plant hardiness zone you live in to grow vegetables that will do well where you live. Just type ‘plant hardiness zone’ +location’ in the search engine, and you will find a map that shows your zone.
Start saving your vegetable seeds to share with friends and neighbors or trade seeds.
4. Vegetable Garden Pest Control: Keep Pests And Weeds Out of Your Garden
I can’t tell you how annoyed I was when I first started veggie gardening and had to deal with those slimy slugs.
We wanted to be organic gardeners, so there were no poisons or pesticides. I tried several home remedies that didn’t do as people claimed, but I didn’t give up. Eventually, I learned about products like Slug-B-Gon and SlugOut, and my slug problem was stopped.
Always look for organic gardening and a safe way to get rid of bugs. You can even try growing plants that tend to keeps some pests away, like onion, garlic, and chives.
Try placing a couple of inches of mulch, which is untreated, around each vegetable plant. It will help keep moisture in the ground longer, keep weeds from getting sunlight, and keep dirt off the leaves.
5. Your Veggies Need Lots of Water
People can go a few days without water before it started to take its toll and the same thing goes for your garden plants. They need water regularly, especially when Mother Nature isn’t providing it as well as she could be.
Learn about each veggie you plan to grow, so you know about how much water it needs weekly. Using mulch in your vegetable garden will help keep that water from evaporating, so be sure to use it.
At the same time, you don’t want to overwater your garden, so periodically dig down a little and see how far you have to dig to get moist dirt. This will help you learn when and when not to water.
A root system that sits in water will quickly drown if it doesn’t drain well.
I like to water my garden early morning before the sun ever hits it. This gives the water time to run off the leaves before the direct sunlight hits them, which can burn the leaves. You also don’t want so much water that you have a mold or fungus issue.