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Money-Saving Mama: Time to start planning for garden

Posted: February 11, 2014 - 6:23pm

While enjoying some time outdoors during our snow days, I also spent evenings inside thinking about a summer garden.

I perused the many seed catalogs I have recently received and thought about what would be the best vegetables, fruits and plants to grow this year. While some think it is too early to think about gardening, that is truly not the case. The earlier you plan, the better prices you can get when ordering seeds. You can also know what you will need for that year as well as have a plan on what you can put away in the freezer, can, or cook and give away.

We do not have the biggest of yards and what little yard we have is on a hill in both the front and back. This doesn’t help when trying to plant a garden. I’m sure many others are in the same position, either with a small yard or no yard at all. There is no reason to give up on your gardening pursuit. There are many things that grow well in pots that you can place on your patio or maybe even in a sunny windowsill.

Tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, meyer lemons, key limes, even cucumbers – providing you add a trellis for them to climb – can be grown in pots around your house.

I love reading the Gardening section in The Augusta Chronicle each week. One week talked about this very thing: growing fruit in containers. Because of this article, we will try growing blueberries in a pot for the very first time. Why not be willing to take that chance and try it? Even if you get just enough to eat off of without being able to can, you know where your food was grown and how it was cared for, plus you don’t have to buy it from the store, thereby saving money on your grocery bill.

One thing to make sure of when growing your own food in containers is that you have the proper size container. Reading instructions on the labels, looking up their care on the Internet or in books, and asking your local garden center specialist are important keys to making sure you provide the correct environment for each plant so that it grows to be the best producer possible.

Also, make sure that you are starting out with a clean pot. If you are reusing pots from previous years, make sure you scrub them out with a good combination of soapy water and then a little bleach to kill any disease from previous plants.

There are many good planters out there to purchase, if you don’t already have some. If you can’t afford to go out and purchase new ones right now, there are people who sell planters at yard sales. Start looking now and don’t be afraid to make an offer on one that will work perfect for what you need.

Another thing that is in the works is getting our big garden ready. While we don’t have the room at our house for one, there is more than enough room at my parent’s house. Sometimes, you have to think outside of the box in order to plant that garden. That may mean having one at someone else’s home and sharing the bounty with them. It never hurts to ask someone who has the room if you can use it for a garden in exchange for food for them.

They provide the space and the water and you provide the plants and seeds, the work in the garden and food for them. It may sound like a lot of work but it is the best way to have a garden of your own when you don’t have room for it at your home.

While you still have some cold days left, start gathering those seed catalogs. Look through them and dream about what you would like to grow.

Check out gardening books from the library, read articles online, read the gardening articles in The Augusta Chronicle and see what you can do.

Start planning now for your summer garden and your rewards this summer will be great.

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