Inside: Who doesn’t love when something’s free? Discover how to get free seeds for your garden. With visions of rows of lettuce, tall tomato plants and cucumbers curling up trellises, you head to the nursery to grab some seed packets and bags of soil. Only to realize you also need containers. And, maybe some transplants in case the seeds don’t work out. What about fertilizer? And mulch? Suddenly this fun gardening project has turned into a money pit. Gardening expenses add up. But that shouldn’t get in the way of the fun. Growing your own food has so many benefits. Fresh air. Exercise. The joy of picking a plump, ripe tomato off a four-foot-tall plant you grew from a seed. You’ll probably still need to buy some gardening supplies this season, but I have a secret way you can save money. It may seem like a small money-saver, but you can get all kinds of seeds for free—if you know where to look. 3 little-known ways to get free seeds The first option is by far the most accessible for newbie gardeners. 1. Find a local seed library I recently discovered that my local public library offers a seed library.
Gardening season is here! If you’ve never tried starting seeds, it can be really rewarding—and really frustrating. Take it from me, starting seeds for the first time is a challenge. You wait and wait and wait. Then finally the little seedlings emerge—or they don’t. You have to tend to them to make sure they’re thriving. And it takes quite a while until they grow big enough to transplant to the garden. Buuuuuut when you do, it’s so rewarding. It’s crazy to think that you started that little sucker from seed and now you’re eating tomatoes off of it! Here’s how I do it. Folding newspaper pots I like to start seeds indoors in newspaper pots. You fold sheets of newspaper origami-style into little pots to hold your seedlings. After your seeds grow big enough, you can even transplant the newspaper pot straight into the ground because it breaks down into the soil. I learned how to make newspaper pots to start seeds by watching this video. After a few tries, you’ll turn into a newspaper pot-folding machine. How to grow seeds After you finish folding your newspaper pots, fill them with soil. Then, use tweezers to place a seed (or several) in
Sorry for my absence. I’ve been outside enjoying the weather and doing lots of spring activities…planting a garden, hunting for morel mushrooms, walking my doggie, planting more plants. Well, see for yourself… When I spotted this chocolate mint plant at the farmer’s market (top photo), I knew I had to have it. I’m already dreaming about baking scrumptious desserts and sipping on chocolate mint mojitos. I didn’t realize I was going to make a chocolate-themed garden, but that’s kind of what happened. The second photo is a sweet potato vine surrounded by cocoa shell mulch. Yes, cocoa shells! I found the mulch at my local gardening store. This is what my garden looked like before. This plot of dirt covered in weeds sits in the back area of my rental apartment, which is a converted old house. The plot was clearly once a garden because it’s the only strip of dirt in a large area of concrete pavement. Plus, it’s lined with, now crumbling, bricks. It’s an extremely odd setup, which is fitting for the area I live in. It’s not really a patio; it’s not really a backyard; it’s just a random plot of dirt surrounded by concrete. I’ll
I don’t take my home so seriously that I can’t drag a big ole bag of potting soil inside to do a bit of gardening. That’s exactly what went on in my kitchen this Saturday. After weeks of chilly, snowy and dreary weather, I’m ready to fill my home with greenery! A week or two ago I started some seeds using eggshells. (Check out my tutorial to learn how!) I planted a smorgasbord of veggies and herbs: spinach, carrots, lettuce, radishes, oregano, basil and chives. All easy-to-grow plants that I can cultivate in containers. The radishes sprouted far faster than all of the other plants. They were ready to transplant to larger containers, so that was this weekend’s project. If you’re looking at the pictures and wondering if I used that soup ladle to fill the pots with soil, why yes, yes I did. (Go ahead, file that one away for future reference. Soup ladle works just as well as shovel.) I didn’t actually plant the peppers or tomatoes in the pictures above, but I love the happy colors on the seed packets. That’ll be a future project. Until it warms up enough to move all of these plants outside and transplant the rest of the seeds
Do you already shop at your local farmers market? Joining a Community Supporte Agriculture (CSA) program just takes your organic, local eating up a notch. When you join a CSA program, you support a local farm by paying a set fee at the beginning of the growing season. Then, throughout the season you receive a bag full o fresh fruits and veggies (usually the best of the crop) each week. Not too shabby, huh? Joining a CSA This spring season I joined a CSA program for the first time, and I absolutely love it. Every Saturday I bring my reusable bag to my local farmers market and the farmer stuffs it full of that week’s freshest, in-season fruits, vegetables and herbs (organic, of course!) Because I paid the fee for the CSA program back in February, it feels a bit like I’m getting the food for free (even though I know that’s not true!) Still, when I compare prices to what I would be purchasing the items for at the farmers market, it’s competitive. And, I’m trying foods I would never normally grab off the farmers market table. In just the five weeks since the program started, I’ve already sautéed
Inside: Break out the seeds and soil. Here’s a method to start seeds for your garden without spending big bucks. “And now for my next trick, I’m going to build a rocket ship from tissues.” I have a friend who likes to poke fun at my budget-friendly ways. He breaks out this saying when I bake my own granola, shop at thrift stores or find frugal ways to start a garden. Maybe I earned it. I have been known to drag a bag of potting soil into the kitchen for an indoor gardening day. Or, fold dozens of newspaper pots to start seeds. And, I’ve composted table scraps in a plastic cereal container in my apartment kitchen. Growing your own food is rewarding, but it’s also cheaper than buying those same tomatoes, basil and squash at a store. Not to mention fresher and tastier. If you garden, then you probably like to save money too. Well, here’s a fun way to save some green with that green thumb of yours. Get your gardening going with this frugal (and unexpected!) way to start seeds. A Little-Known Way to Start Seeds for Your Garden Skip the seed trays. You can start seeds