Sunday, February 15, 2009

Garden- Starting Off & Seeds

If you're anything like me, at this time of the year you're itching for winter to end. For the past month I've been daydreaming about our backyard once the weather warms up- cook outs, lemonade plus a good book, and a vegetable garden.

Really, I've been daydreaming about the vegetable garden for more than 2 years. Enough space for a least a small raised bed was on the 'must have' list during the house hunt. The back of the house faces south,* so with the exception of some fence shading it should be a good location. Unfortunately, by the time we moved in last summer it was too late for a real garden. I did a few container plants but only the cherry tomatoes were able to produce anything before our relatively short growing season ended.

I'm going to do my best to track the costs and production of the garden as I go along. There will be some extra expense this first year to get things up and running. I'm planning on raised beds which need to be bought or built (after buying materials). Currently I'm budgeting $100 for that portion of the project. Then there's fill dirt/compost/moss/whatever else I decide. Last fall I started composting with worms to help lessen that expense. Finally there are seeds.

Whenever I've bought seed packets (usually for herbs) I end up feeling very wasteful. I plant at most 10 seeds and the rest sit around in a drawer somewhere. I don't know if it's just not cost effective to sell them in smaller quantities but we're talking crazy amounts of seeds. So imagine my delight when someone on my favorite yahoo group* suggested buying seeds together. This way we each get a reasonable amount of seeds at a lower cost.

We're still getting our order together, but I'll post my final cost with a list of what I'm buying. So far it's looking like cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, broccoli, and melon. I have never (with the exception of those tomatoes) grown more than a few herbs- making this summer a bit of an adventure. Any green thumb advice is very welcome!

*which makes winter shoveling oh so fun
** the source of my most frequent babysitting clients, a recent extra earning opportunity, and random advice


Personal Finance Firewall said...

This is something I have done in the past but have not even thought much about the past 2 years even though I own my home and have a decent sized yard.
I did however plan on doing some gardening this spring and wrote a small article with some tips on plants to grow. The article is here, I look forward to hearing of your results.

Thrifty Gal said...

Even though we live on a large corner lot, the way our yard is laid out, we have no room for a garden :( I'm jealous! First time to your great blog!