We recently launched a new program called Ask The Experts, where we interview local experts on a variety of topics.  Our first interview was with Nancy Berlin, from the Virginia Cooperative Extension, on creating a green space for your home.  You can catch the interview here.  Right in line with our interview topic this month, one of our gust bloggers submitted the perfect article on creating a low-cost garden!  Please enjoy the article, written and submitted by Emma Croft from Get Gardening.

 

The Easy and Budget-Friendly Way to Start Your Own Garden

gardening 683x1024 - Guest article: Budget-Friendly Tips to Start Your Own Garden

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There’s no other way of saying it: starting a garden could prove to be one of your life’s better decisions. This is down to several reasons. First, it can support your health in that it lets you spend more time outdoors doing physical labor, as well as gives you an opportunity to grow your own fresh and healthy food. Next, it can also help in preserving the environment and counts as your valuable contribution to making the world a better place to live in.

Indeed, these virtues (and more) are undoubtedly enough to compel you to start your own garden. But of course, if you really want to reap the rewards of such an endeavor, you also need to do it right. If you’re new to this, let’s go ahead and break down the process so you can start a healthy and productive garden with relative ease and without breaking the bank.

Do Your Research
Like most things worth pursuing, your gardening journey should start with thorough and comprehensive research. This is because gardening involves a good number of elements, tasks, and factors that all come together, allowing you to create something beautiful and special. It goes without saying that if you don’t want the time and, yes, money that you will invest in starting a garden to go to waste, you’ll want to get the whole thing right, right off the bat.

Thankfully, there’s no shortage of resources — many of them, completely free — to help you start a garden from scratch. Fundamentally, you’ll want to learn whether or not you should plant vegetables or flowers (or both), or if you should choose raised beds over in-ground gardens, to name a few. You should also know the nitty-gritty of soil, mulching, sustainable irrigation, composting, etc. All these (and more) must also take into consideration your geographic location, available space, and even the direction in which your garden is facing.

Work with the Space You’ve Got
Speaking of space, know that space is actually not an issue when it comes to gardening. In fact, you can start a garden in a small apartment — and yes, even indoors. To do so, especially as a beginner, you’ll need to take into consideration ventilation, proximity to artificial cooling or heating, lighting, etc., as well as your commitment level, schedule, and budget.

No doubt, among the most important things you need to learn when you start a garden is how to choose the right plants. While cultivating a successful garden in your apartment is more than possible, much of this success will hinge heavily on your choice of plants. Thankfully, there are some great apartment-friendly plants that you can care for with ease — and even as a beginner, at that — so these can be great choices as you start your gardening journey. Best of all, they’re easy to acquire and budget-friendly, too.

Support Your Efforts
Finally, while gardening can be a largely physical task, know that a green thumb is actually not enough to create and sustain a productive garden. You do, in fact, need to also stock up on tools and supplies to help you do your gardening tasks more efficiently and safely.

Luckily, you don’t have to break the bank to start a garden that you can be proud of. You can, in fact, save money on gardening supplies and tools when you shop online at sites like Overstock. As a tip, look for promo codes and coupons before you buy to enjoy more discounts.

Suffice it to say, a garden will enrich your life in so many ways from the get-go. What makes it all the more amazing is that it can bring so much beauty and health to your life without demanding a massive monetary investment or more hard work than you’re able to give. With that said, all you have to do now is get started!