Grow your own vegetables and not only eat fresh but also add another string to your Frugal Living lifestyle.
This second page will continue where the previous page left off with more ways to enjoy gardening on a budget.
Growing from seed is the most cost effective way to start your vegetable garden. Most seeds are available to buy from your local garden centre but if you fancy trying to get them even cheaper, if not free, than why not try these methods first.
Dollar and Pound shops - every discount shop has a small garden section offering several varieties of seed packets. Check them out and see what is available.
Online garden forums - If you already have some of your own plants you may want to see if any of the online chat forums for gardeners offer an exchange of seeds service. This is a great way to discover new varieties and to build up some new helpful friends.
Neighbours - If you know other gardeners locally are growing their own vegetables and fruits it is sometimes worthwhile asking about their crops.
Lots of gardeners love to be able to help new interested gardeners onto the growing your own ladder and will sometimes offer to give you some seeds for free.
Harvest them yourself - You may decide that you want to try to grow your own fruits from seeds obtained from the actual fruits. This small up front investment may mean you never have to buy that fruit again once you have your own crop.
No good vegetable garden should be without a small area to grow your own herbs in. Herbs are the cooks delight but cost so much to buy fresh from the shops. I always used to find that if I bought some fresh basil that I would end up wasting half of it, as it would wilt before I had the chance to use it all. With your own fresh herbs all you have to do is pick what you need.
Herbs are quite easy to grow and do not need a lot of pampering or large areas to grow in. A good crop can be maintained in a small trough of even placed between other plants in the garden. The main and most commonly used herbs are:
Make sure you plant your herbs with lots of sunlight and water them only when they are dry. The best flavours are obtained when you pick the young shoots, which will help to keep the plant compact and will encourage it to thrive.
Grow your own fruits and vegetables is great fun but it does mean that you will have to fend off various pests and bugs that will also enjoy nibbling on your tasty crops.
Unfortunately bought pesticides are not only harmful to the environment but will also set you back a pretty penny as well. Fear not my frugal friends, organic pesticides are easy to make and are cheap on the purse.
Remember that not all bugs are harmful to your garden and are in fact very beneficial, so when you do use any form of pesticide in your garden, always bear in mind that you are not trying to kill every living thing in your garden.
Simple organic pesticides:
Garlic - this is a versatile plant and can be used as spray or as a plant. Growing garlic around fruit trees and other vegetables will repel borers, Rabbits, mites and mosquitoes.
To make a spray cook one unpeeled garlic head and one unpeeled cut up onion in three pints of water for about 30 minutes on a low heat. Allow to cool and then use one tablespoon of the liquid to one pint of water to make the spray.
Lavender - planting lavender in the garden is great for attracting butterflies to the garden but will also keep away mice, moths and ticks.
Mint - deters ants, mice and cabbage butterfly.
Slug traps - to keep slugs at bay bury old yoghurt cartons into the ground with the top of the pot level with the ground. Pour a little beer into the bottom of the pot.
Slugs will fall into the pot when they are attracted by the beer (they love beer) and will drown or become too drunk to climb out. Check the pots daily and place captured slugs into a tied bag and throw away. I know it sounds yuk but it works.
Enjoy and experiment with your frugal vegetable garden and I wish you many tasty crops.
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