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Ways to save - Grow your own vegetables

This is my first article to the Ways to Save Series. 

As well as being addicted to freebies, I love to find ways to save money.  My husband and I are very blessed to have two healthy children, own a lovely home and have two great professions, however, I'm always looking for ways to save money as we all know houses are money pits and kids are not cheap. Therefore, the Ways to Save Series will discuss the different ways I save on our household bills.

Grow your own vegetable garden

My parents grew their own vegetables in our back yard and as a child I hated the task of watering the plants every day.  However, after many years of wasting money on bland tasting expensive vegetables from the grocery store we took the plunge and decided to grow our own vegetables.  We designated a 20 X 10 plot of land close to the house that had the longest exposure to sun and built a raised bed garden with pine wood and raised bed kits from Burpee.  We filled the bed with a mixture of 3 yards of mushroom soil and 2 yards of cow manure.  We had to build a fence around the garden as there are copius deer and rabbits who would have a field day in my garden.

We started a lot of the vegetables from seed in April using the Burpee Ultimate Growing system and planted them on Mothers Day.  However, we forgot to acclimatise them by sticking them outside during the day for a week and also forgot to check the weather forecast and unfortunately lost the cucumber, zuchinni, peas and beans plants.  However, all was not lost as I threw a few seeds directly into the ground and they are now growing nicely.  Note to self for next year, grow beans, zuchinni and peas direcly into soil after Mothers day.

So here are photos of what we are growing:

At the farthest end of the bed, I have Mammoth Sunflowers growing to add a bit of height and color to my vegetable garden.  Plus I can harvest Sunflower seeds.  Next to them I have Cucumber plants (sowed directly into the ground).

These are my tomato plants grown from seeds - these were sickly looking a few weeks back due to the frost that showed up the week after planting.  However, they look wonderful now and even healthier looking than the professional tomato plants that were given to us (see below). Note to self: tomato plants are resilient.

Above we are growing sweet red peppers and eggplant.  These were grown from seed in the Burpee Ultimate Growing system

Lastly we are growing brocolli, carrots and lettuce.

After many years of purchasing expensive yet bland vegetables I realised how I took for granted how good it is to harvest and eat fruits of your own labor.

I harvested some lettuce and made a side salad for dinner tonight and oh how delicious was this salad.  The salad was still warm from sitting out in the sun all day and you could taste the lettuce nutrients rather than just the water.  We got the kids involved at each process of building the vegetable garden from seed planting, germination, mixing of soil.manure to harvesting and even my kids could not believe we were eating salad grown from the vegetable garden.

This is still a learning process and I'll keep you updated with regular postings on how my vegetable garden is going.  In addition, to the vegetable garden I grew some herbs and flowers all from Burpee Seeds.

Herbs growing in containers - I'm growing basil, oregano, parsley and cilantro.  The top left container is lettuce but its not doing as well as in ground grown lettuce.

These are some of the flower plants growing in the Burpee Ultimate Growing System.

Of course the first year will not be a saving because of the cost involved in building the vegetable garden but after tasting my first home grown lettuce I've decided that I've already saved.


From723 said:

This is definitely one of the first things I'm going to do when I buy a house. Not only is it rewarding in terms of taste, health, and nutritional value (no added pesticides) but it, I have heard, is also very soothing.

I like soothing lol :)

trishden said:

Very nice. I started a garden last year. The lettuces did great, some of the other veggies not so good. I guess some of us have to learn from our mistakes.


beautytolove said:

What a nice garden! We are just starting our garden for the spring. I wish mine looked as nice as yours! :)

Anonymous said:

I've been wanting to do a vegetable/fruit garden for a long time but never get around to doing it. I wanted to start off with something simple like watermelon but now summer's over. I will need to put some sort of screen on top as we have birds and squirrels in the backyard so we'll see how that goes.

Anonymous said:

oops...forgot to my name in the comments.
@EDRIE51 on twitter.

Tanya said:

Thank you for inspiring me to get back into vegetable gardening, a few years ago my gardening became neglected due to us having twins which brought us up to 4 boys. I can't wait to get out there with them and have some fun, save money and have tastier healthier food :)

tstasko said:

I donn't have the time for garden but I did plant beans and peppers and broccoli in containers and they are doing great!

HarleyC said:

You had good luck! I tried this one year and I had cukes about the size of my pinkie finger! Maybe next year will be better for me!

michelle kessler said:

this is a wonderful idea im working on starting an indoor garden very soon as it is very cold here in the winter months lol

L said:

I cannot wait to have a yard again so that I can plow it under! Every attempt at apartment window box gardening has failed :(

Shawna said:

I would love to do this. I cannot wait to move so we can start our own gardent

Anonymous said:

Wow!!! Your garden is amazing!!! We've tried so hard to start a garden on our apartment balcony but we don't have green thumbs...and we have four cats. Someday I shall have a garden like yours! Thank you for the tips! :)

Unknown said:

Growing a garden is fun and nothing beats the warm feeling when your plants grow and bear fruit. It's an accomplishment!

Anonymous said:

I love gardening and it feels so good when you see everything is growing and there's life all around you :)

Unknown said:

I should do this once I get a place with a backyard. Thanks for the posting.

HarleyC said:

I think I'm going to try a garden again this year. Hopefully I'll be able to grow more than just herbs!

Sao băng nhiệt đới said:

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