Monday, July 15, 2013

Healthy Monday | Gardening

Summer is a great time to load up on fruits and vegetables! Lots of things are in season right now and can usually be found for a lower price than during the winter when they have to be shipped from other countries. But the best way to save money over the summer is growing your own garden!

If you have a backyard or even a back porch you can usually grow some veggies the help out your pocket book. This summer is actually my first time growing my own garden and I've already been shocked by the amount my tiny (3'x6') raised garden is producing. We are quickly realizing that our plants are outgrowing their little plot of land and are going to have to build another raised bed to give them more space. Before I started my own garden, it seemed like it was going to be so much work to put in. However, we ended up getting everything dug up, built, and planted in one morning. It really only took about an hour of actual work. Then I just water them every other day. Easy as that. (Obviously the bigger the garden the more work it will be.)

Even if you can't put in your own raised garden you still have an opportunity to grow some of your own herbs! Our spare room window sill is growing parsley, basil, and cilantro right now. All started from seed and cost me about 3 dollars total.

If you are like me and you think you definitely do not have a green thumb, here is the secret. Before you plant anything do a little bit of research. Here are the things you need to figure out:

1. What type of sunlight to do get in your space? Morning, afternoon, none, minimal?

2. Figure out what types of plants grow best in the type of light you get.

3. If you don't have a lot of time to spend watering, invest in a soaker hose. They really aren't that expensive! All you have to do is turn them on for awhile (I would look up a recommended amount of time to keep them on for) every other day or so and thats all.

4. Don't water the leaves of your plants, water down at the bottom of the stem. This might seem like petty information, but it was something my husband had no idea about until I told him.

5. Watch for signs of pests. Currently our broccoli leaves are being eaten by slugs. Gross! If you don't like pesticides (like me) there are natural or organic methods you can try.

6. When in doubt, google it. Seriously, I didn't know the first thing about gardening and when I have a question I just look it up. There are lots of great resources out there. Or if I want a more reliable source I just ask my parents :).

If you have never given gardening a try I highly suggest it! Not only does it help save money, but it is also therapeutic and is much more rewarding than grocery shopping!

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