Yesterday my husband and I put a great deal of work into creating a space where we can grow some vegetables. Our reasoning for having a garden is two-fold, having vegetables that we grow and to save money. Since starting Weight Watchers I am realizing we spent a lot of money each week on vegetables and fruit. We specifically go through a lot of salad, spinach, and tomatoes and by starting a garden, I am hoping to offset that cost.
When we approached the area we wanted to work with there was a lot of broken glass, trash, and buried bricks. We just moved into this place and do not own it and the previous tenets left a lot of “buried treasure”. It took us a couple hours digging and filtering everything. The left side of the picture (darker soil) is where all of the bricks were buried. We took the bricks and created a border and laid down gardening fabric. The far wall (lighter soil) wasn’t in terrible shape. It just needed to be broken up, fertilized, and filtered to remove any trash or debris we don’t want in our garden. This entire space is now filled with spinach and lettuce. The slate in front of the beds was also found buried in this area so we just lined it up to make it easier for us to kneel down when we are working in the garden. I hope the grass in this area grows back quickly. It looks a little sad right now but hopefully that won’t be the case in a few weeks.
We also started our seedlings yesterday and today. These pots are biodegradable and can be planted directly in the soil once the seeds have sprouted and the stems have hardened off. We are going to cut the pot away from the plant once they are ready for the soil. I am worried that the pot will constrict the roots somehow and since they are going to be grown in containers anyway I’m not worried about having the extra pot. The picture of the raised beds above is all of the space that we have available for a garden so we are going to do as many containers as we can for the vegetables. There is also only enough sunlight in this spot for lettuce and spinach. So it is important that we keep the containers in the sun in front of our home. This is what we are growing: tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, lettuce, spinach, bush beans, and a variety of herbs.
Overall we have now spent about $35 for our supplies for the garden. I still need to buy larger containers for the vegetables but here is the breakdown so far:
Biodegradable Pots: $5
Plastic Pots for Herbs: $5
Garden Fabric: $5
If our seeds germinate properly we are looking at saving $200 a month in groceries!! We spent extra to make sure we get organic vegetables and easily spend about $50 a week, sometimes more, on ingredients for hearty salads and making healthy vegetable sides with meals.
I have never managed a garden on my own, but my husband has in the past. We have had great success in the past with raised beds but container gardening is new to both of us. I am really excited about the potential success of our vegetables this year!
Have you started a container garden in the past? What has worked for you? How have you saved money with your garden?