Growing your own fruits and vegetables is a fantastic way to save money throughout the year. The vegetables you grow in the spring and summer can be eaten fresh, and can also be frozen or canned and enjoyed year round.
Where to Begin
1. To start growing vegetables, consider which vegetables your family enjoys eating. There is no sense growing bushels of peppers if your family won’t eat them!
2. Next decide where you are going to plant the vegetables. I have had many vegetable gardens over the years, and my most successful vegetables have grown in containers on our deck. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, the deer in our yard enjoy eating the tops off the vegetable plants very much. I love our deer families, but not when they are messing with my family’s food supply. Another reason, is the vegetables planted on the deck get a lot more love and attention. Because I see them constantly, I remember to water them regularly, and spend time each day checking my plants for pests and diseases. Not all plants will do well in containers. Squash and watermelon, for instance, need a lot of room to spread out.,However tomatoes, peppers, and many greens do well in containers.
3. Purchase your seeds or plants. Purchasing seeds is the most frugal way to plant a garden. The seeds are very inexpensive in comparison to what you’ll be able to grow from them. If you have missed your zone’s seed sowing time for your chosen vegetables you may purchase small plants. While they are more expensive to buy than seeds, it is still cheaper than buying the vegetables in the grocery stores.
4. Prepare your soil, and plant!
If you have the space, fruit trees are a wonderful addition to any property. Most fruit trees require cross pollination to produce fruit, so know the needs of the tree you are considering. Years ago we decided we wanted fruit trees in our yard and made the decision to add to our yard one tree at a time. Because of our yearly commitment to buy at least one tree, we now have a fig tree, two cherry trees, and two pear trees! We ordered the cherry and pear trees from an online nursery because we found they had the best prices. When the trees arrived, they looked like dead sticks. But we followed the instructions, and to our surprise they very quickly grew into trees!
If you’ve ever purchased fresh herbs at the grocery store, you know how expensive they can get. Herbs are a fantastic choice for container gardening. They grow well planted with other plants, or in a pot by themselves. And the flavor fresh herbs add to food is wonderful. Not only do the herbs greatly enhance the flavor of food, but can be frozen as well. Simply lay the sprigs on a cookie sheet to flash freeze, then transfer the frozen sprigs to a freezer bag. Now you can pinch as much as you need for your dishes. Of course you won’t want to use the frozen herbs for garnish because they won’t look pretty after freezing, but the taste stays wonderful.