Gardening on the cheap – particularly for beginners

If you don’t have a vegetable garden now, but think you might want to start one, here are some ideas for keeping costs down and effort minimal. Here is Jessica, again, from Roots and Refuge Farm. This video is from a few years ago, but still relevant.

By the way, I’m thinking of buying one of those GreenStalk planters that you can see behind her. They are made in the USA (East Tennessee), and have an ingenious watering system. Here is their website, if you are interested: GreenStalk They come in three colors, different sizes and configurations, and are more affordable than other similar systems that I have seen.

It’s great to start out small, get your feet wet, and learn along the way. It’s also fun to get your kids or grandkids involved in growing (and eating) veggies. They will be more likely to eat vegetables if they help in the planting, tending, and harvesting. I, for one, was amazed to see my grandson make pesto when he was a young teenager from basil growing in their home garden.

I remember helping my parents in the garden; I particularly loathed picking green bush beans, which was one of my jobs, but I did learn to like a variety of fruits and veggies from our own 5-acre plot of land. As a result of home gardening, I also learned how to can tomatoes, jams and jellies, and watched my mom, aunts etc. put up pickles and other preserves.

Another way I have used a kiddy pool is to keep my potted plants going when I go away for a short vacation. I put the pool in a shady area and fill it with a few inches of water, then plop my pots into the pool. It’s not ideal for a long period, but it works fine for a few days.

I learned a technique on YouTube to make self-watering pots. It’s pretty easy, and not expensive, so maybe I’ll share that later with you.

From Rudyard Kipling’s poem, The Glory of the Garden:

There’s not a pair of legs so thin, there’s not a head so thick,
There’s not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick
But it can find some needful job that’s crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.

Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it’s only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner In the Glory of the Garden.

Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener’s work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden that it may not pass away!
And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away !

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13 Responses to Gardening on the cheap – particularly for beginners

  1. WeeWeed says:

    When I was a kid everybody’s grandma had this goin’ on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • stella says:

      I still occasionally can something. I made pickled jalapenos a couple of years ago (mostly for my SIL), and I often make jam. My next canning project will be Dijon mustard.

      Making refrigerator pickles is pretty easy, and I do that.

      Liked by 2 people

      • WeeWeed says:

        Some things freeze beautifully, especially after blanching. I’ve frozen tomatoes and peppers, and onion freezes fine if diced. I remember (back in the day) my Grandma putting up corn, tomatoes and chow-chow (ick, from moi) and trading all her neighbors for other things to balance the pantry out. Some had fruit, some had other veggies – all very handy especially when none of them had the land space to grow much variety. I guess all of them put up what they were best at. They’d all been to enough church suppers to know who did what best, I suppose. Grandma put up some kind of fruit, too, but I don’t remember what….

        Liked by 2 people

        • stella says:

          When I was a kid and we had a big garden, we also had a big chest freezer. We bought a quarter beef and froze green beans and corn and peas and other stuff. Mom still canned tomatoes and made jam etc.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. czarina33 says:

    Czar’s pantry when the garden was producing well! I still have a few jars of pickled stuff and some jam.

    Liked by 3 people

    • WeeWeed says:

      I remember him talking about y’all putting up a million and 28 pounds of tomatoes!

      Liked by 2 people

      • stella says:

        One year my mom asked me to pick up some tomato plants for her and, not knowing what I was doing, I bought her a flat of 24 plants! She was a bit shocked, but she planted every plant. That year they canned tomato everything, including juice and chili sauce.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. auscitizenmom says:

    My granddaughters 6 and 4, love to help with the gardening and animals. They put on their “Little House on the Prairie” bonnets and aprons and go get the eggs and help weed and pick vegetables. Those books have made a big impression on them.

    Liked by 4 people

    • WeeWeed says:

      That’s wonderful! I think all children should be taught about food and where it comes from.

      Liked by 3 people

      • auscitizenmom says:

        My DIL is a wonderful mother. She has let the girls sit on high stools to watch her cook when they were still babies and then help as soon as they were big enough. She doesn’t get upset when things fall on the floor or get messed up. I tried to be the way she is, I worked very hard at it, but didn’t quite make it.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. auscitizenmom says:

    Back in the 70’s, I had a garden and I used to put leftovers, no meats or fats, in my blender with some water after we ate and poured it around the plants out a ways from them. They really loved it.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. WeeWeed says:

    Ya know how the lady in the video filled little spaces with radishes? I plant garlic around my roses. Yup – it’s supposed to keep something or other off the roses but the garlic’s a good thing, too. I just take it out of the fridge and break it into the individual cloves, stab a pencil into the dirt and stick a clove in, root side down. Voila. We’ve already got chives coming up from last year’s.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. czarina33 says:

    Been wanting to get some plants but it’s too early. Czar said tomato, pepper and eggplant starts can’t take temps below 68*, and we are still getting occasional 40’s at night. We used to get antsy and put in a few too early, so we covered them at night with 5 gallon buckets to keep the warm from the ground around them.

    Liked by 1 person

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