Monday, March 8, 2010

Money Saving Tuesday- Spring Fever Edition

I have spring fever. It happens every year when we get a hint of warm weather. I live in Massachusetts so any glimmer of warmth in March is wonderful! But it is also usually a tease. We have been known to have snow on Easter. And in 2002 when I graduated college in May it snowed. Even though it is March and yesterday the weather kissed 50 degrees today it snowed.

So spring fever is dangerous.

But now that I have it I have begun dreaming of my garden. I try to garden every year with varying degrees of success. One year all I managed to grow were tomatos. And we had so many I was giving them to everyone and anyone who would take them. Last year I got tons of beans and cucumbers galore. But not a single tomato ripened. Carrots and I do not get along. The best I have managed was one year I grew three as big as my pinky.

So as you can see I do not have a green thumb.

But I can dream. And for the minimal cost of a garden startup I am willing to try it every year. Last year was my most successful. We managed a lot of cucumbers, a few peppers, lots of grean beans and two SMALL cantaloupes. We at least know that the placement in the yard works. And we fenced it in so no squirrels or rabbits would eat my vegetables. So I am going to try AGAIN. Even with the startup money I still managed to save on my vegetable bills in the summertime. Although my goal is to freeze or can my vegetables and be able use them through the winter as well, which will save more money, if I can simply grow enough for the summer I will be happy.

This year Jon is going to double the size of the garden. He wants to attempt corn and knows it will take up a lot of space. Last year our garden was about 4 by 6 feet. Not big, but it was a start. This year we will have two 4 by 6 gardens. We also ran into the problem of the tomatos taking over the garden. I only had three plants but they took over the pepper plans which were then not able to grow. For those reasons we will have the second garden.

On my list of plants to grow are:
string beans
carrots (yup, trying it again!)
cucumbers (but only two plants this year, not three!)
lettuce (never tried it before)

I do start my garden from seeds. I will start the indoor process in the next month. The startup usually runs less than $30. That includes an indoor greenhouse setup, seeds and soil. I watch the sales for the indoor greenhouse containers and grab them for $5 a piece, I can start about 18 plants in each one and will probably buy 3. I found seeds at my dollar store, 4 packets for $1. After about 6 weeks inside they will be ready to transfer outside.
Even if you start a garden from plants bought at your local garden store it is still cheaper in the long run than buying all vegetables at the store.

I am very excited to get started at my garden. I will share pictures of my kids helping this year and hopefully we will be more succesful in the past!

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