Moving into a new home can be both exhausting and financially taxing. Once your movers have completed your moving services and you have settled into your home, you may be contemplating ways to save money on household necessities. With today’s economy we are seeing an increase in the price of some our favorite household items especially groceries.
A lot of the things that we buy at our local grocers can be grown at home. A home garden will help you save money and relieve a lot of stress while providing you with an activity the whole family can do together. According to the National Gardening Association, a home garden can grow up to a half a pound of vegetables per square foot. With a home garden you will definitely see a return on your investment. A bag of seeds at a dollar a pack can produce more than forty dollars worth of vegetables a month!
Setting up your Garden
You should carefully set up your gardening space and remember to keep it simple. A person could easily spend more money setting up a garden than they will get out of it. Stay away from new and fancy gardening made simple products. If you’re like most people you cannot afford to experiment with unproven products. Some of the tools that you’ll need are a soil thermometer; string and stakes, a steel rake, and a hose for watering. One thing to keep in mind about gardening is that it requires patients.
The first thing to consider before starting your home garden is the type of crops you want to grow. Some crops are specific to certain regions due to climate conditions.
Tomatoes are great to start with, especially considering the unusually long winter that we had this year which caused the cost of tomatoes to almost double. A pound of tomatoes can cost up to two dollars. As we all know, tomatoes don’t stay fresh for too long so buying in bulk is not an option. Tomatoes are relatively easy to grow and maintain, just a few plants will produce a large harvest. There are many different types of tomatoes so you will not have a hard time finding the type that fits your garden and personal taste. To get started, you should select a location that will help promote a healthy harvest.
Tomatoes should be planted in the area with the most sunlight. For unleveled land, avoid planting tomatoes on a lower level so that water has enough space to drain into the soil without making a puddle. The soil should be prepared by loosening it to a depth of at least fifteen inches, and then mix about a two-inch layer of compost into the soil.
If you are starting from scratch then you should sprout the seeds indoors in a pot or sprouting pod. If you are buying plants then you should put stakes up where you plan to put your plants. Your stakes should be at lest eighteen inches apart. Trim the lowest leaves and then place them into the ground. Water generously and keep watered for the first couple of days.
Lettuce is the most commonly consumed vegetable and should account for more than half of your vegetable expenses. Lettuce can be grown during most seasons and will even grow at temperatures as cold as 40° Fahrenheit. Lettuce much like tomatoes should be planted where it can get plenty of sunlight and the soil can be fully watered. The soil for planning lettuce can be prepared the same way as tomatoes with exactly the same measurements apart. Remember, some lettuce does not grow well in warmer climates so you should find out which types grow best in the season you are planting in. Water generously and use mulch to keep the soil cool.
Cooking thyme also know as English thyme can be tricky to grow but once you get it started maintaining is not as hard. Thyme seeds usually take a while to sprout which will prompt most gardeners to abandon the idea all together. Place plants at least nine inches apart and use light mulch in the winter time to prevent the soil from hardening. Trim plants in the summer to control growth.
There are many other edible plant species that can be grown year-round. Some of these are: asparagus, basil, broccoli, carrots, parsley, peppers and many more. The amount of money that you can save on groceries makes this a great home project that the entire family can enjoy.