Growing your own food is one of the best ways to stay healthy, but many people mistakenly assume that an organic garden requires a big budget. The fact is, however, it’s quite easy to grow a range of plants and vegetables on even the smallest of budgets. You just need to know the right tips and tricks.
Gardening should be a fun hobby that enables simple methods and offers effective results for anyone willing to do a little hard work. Here are 5 tips to help you grow an organic garden on a tight budget.
1. Small Steps
Don’t look at your whole garden as something that needs to be filled up. There really is no rush. In time, you may fill up the entire plot of land but, for now, start with a small corner.
A simple vegetable patch with a few seeds is more than enough to start off with. Expansion can come naturally, at its own pace, when you are comfortable with it. There are no immediate targets or goals to achieve – just grow at the rate you want.
Start with just one or two different plants and expand when you feel like a new challenge. One of the best ways to do this is to just take a few seeds and understand the conditions and support they require.
Once you’re more familiar with the species or strain, you can begin cultivating and producing more. This helps save money in case you make a mistake and allows you to slowly and confidently expand your garden.
2. Nature’s Resources
One of the biggest advantages of an organic garden is that you can take a big helping hand from Mother Nature. There are a variety of resources available in your own garden for free. Besides, wild plants thrive all the time, so why can’t your own crops develop with similar success?
One of the most obvious examples is to collect rainwater. This is what your plants use naturally, so saving some up for dry spells can keep them healthy and enable them to survive any particularly hot dry spells in the summer.
Since they use this resource naturally anyway, you don’t need to filter or purify the water for the purpose of using it in your own garden. It might not seem like much, but this actually saves a surprising amount of money when you consider how much water a hose can use up.
3. Recycling and Freecycling
Similar to growing organic produce, recycling is a very green hobby to take up, so why not combine the two? Not only is recycling a money-free way to get what you need, it also helps find a use for items that are otherwise taking up space.
Have you tried using plastic baskets or containers as bedding trays, for instance? Many a humble gardener has started growing plants from old yogurt pots! Likewise, the old poles from broken shovels and rakes can be used in the ground, offering climbing plants some support.
If you have a little creativity, there’s always a new use for something. This is true for both amateur and seasoned gardeners. Many experienced people often replace small yogurt pots with large wooden barrels as time goes on. The scale of your garden may change, but the concept will always remain the same.
Similarly, this philosophy also applies to your organic waste. As long as it’s biodegradable, it can be introduced into your composting system. Food waste is highly useful and, above all else, represents a free source of nutrition your plants will love. Just remember to leave the leftovers when you’re cleaning up after dinner. If you get into the habit of doing this after every meal, you will find that your compost will easily grow over time.
You can also create mulch via leaves, bark, and other plant matter. There’s a good chance you have some of these sources in your own garden, so be sure to rake them up regularly and use them to your advantage. Again, it’s all about making the most of something that’s already within reach.
4. Take Cuttings
There’s often very little need to buy seeds from a garden center when the plants are readily available all around you. If you can find these plants in the wild, you can take a cutting or two for your own garden.
With a little helping hand, these can grow into the same beautiful plants as the expensive packet of seeds. If you see a plant thriving in the wild, then it’s safe to assume it is rather healthy and a cutting of such a specimen would be a welcome addition to any plot.
On the other hand, if you can’t find anything in the wild, you might know somebody with your desired plant already in their own backyard. In these instances, why not try politely asking for a spare cutting?
5. Second-hand Materials
When it comes to garden tools and supplies, why splurge at the local garden center? As long as it still digs and offers a comfortable grip, a second-hand shovel is just as useful as a new one, only at a fraction of the price. Every time you choose not to buy a new item, you’re saving money and keeping to your budget.
You shouldn’t worry too much about the overall quality – all these tools end up in the mud and dirt anyway – as long as they fulfill their purpose. Don’t ever be afraid to freecycle something nobody else wants; it certainly beats paying the full asking price in a shop.
Hopefully, these 5 easy tips showed you how easy it is to start an organic garden. While it may seem daunting at first, creating your own organic garden can be a very rewarding experience that also offers some very healthy food sources.
Written By Tim Sparke
Tim Sparke is the CEO at 4 Pumps and for several years, he has been an active advocate of organic farming and sustainability. Aside from being a specialist of water pumps, he also has a passion for writing and he writes the blog at 4 Pumps.