I am about to embark on an adventure for the ultimate in savings. Coupons are great but there are some items that never have coupons. The perfect example of that? Vegetables. As of yesterday, our family is growing a garden. We've been talking about it since we moved into this house but had yet to begin the quest. Here are a few things I have learned so far... hopefully this will help any of you first time vegetable gardeners:
1. This is OVERWHELMING! Way worse than coupons. But, just as with couponing, you just have to get out there and do it and then it will be much LESS overwhelming.
2. Not every yard is built for a garden... ours being one of those. We have soppy soil that has THE WORST drainage and very little sun- two things that make for less than ideal conditions for a vegetable garden. Here is where the creative thinking begins!
3. Raised container beds can be put ANYWHERE. The only place in our backyard that gets regular sun is on top of our deck. Therefore, we are building two 10' x 2' x 8" beds that will be placed in an L shape along the house. Of course that deck isn't solid so they will have to have a bottom with holes drilled where the gaps are in the slats of the deck. (Hopefully the weight of these two containers doesn't make the deck buckle...)
4. Chemistry is KEY! I'm still learning but one thing I was told was that peas release nitrogen and spinach uses it (or visa versa...) so I can plant spinach between each pea plant because they will help each other. (Things like that I need to learn A LOT more about)
5. Get excited! I know this is going to take a lot of work but the feeling of being completely self reliant and canning my own vegetables is great! I can just imagine all the money I will save in the years to come!
So we are planting green beans, sugar snap peas, broccoli (from a start), onions (from a start, apparently they keep the bugs away and you can use them to fill in unused spaces along the edges), and spinach (another good filler and supposedly VERY easy to grow). We will also be planting tomatoes and peppers in a friends garden. PLUS I'm growing herbs in our south facing kitchen window. This place is the only ideal place inside and outside for growing anything. Apparently south facing windows are good because they get constant sun and above the kitchen sink is great because it will give the herbs the added moisture they need to grow. So, first up- cilantro. We use it a lot. Then I'll try basil and parsley and thyme.
AND I think I'm going to try growing potatoes... in a garbage bag. Interesting, huh? Click here to read about it.
... In another week or two I will post pictures of our actual garden, until then you get the internet's :)