Bring your backyard to life with these DIY garden ideas! You can spice up your outdoor living space with strategic landscaping, smart storage ideas, and yard art to create an enchanting garden. Photo via susanm Not only do they give you total control over the soil, but they also help keep weeds away and offer excellent drainage. Photo via amwachtel. Who says you need a spacious or grassy backyard for the garden of your dreams?
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: TOP 10 BEST HOMEMADE GARDEN TOOLContent:
- How to Plant a Fall Garden and Grow Late-Season Crops
- Creating a Pallet Garden – Step by Step Instructions
- A Beginner's Guide to Vegetable Gardening
- Kitchen gardens – 10 steps to start your own vegetable garden and what to grow
- 23 DIY Garden Ideas to Makeover Your Backyard
- 45 Amazing Indoor Garden Ideas: #27 is So Easy!
- The Easiest Fruits and Vegetables to Grow for Beginners
How to Plant a Fall Garden and Grow Late-Season Crops
Growing your own garden is a smart way to save money on delicious, fresh produce , but you don't need to be born with a green thumb to harvest a fruitful bounty. You also don't need to spend huge sums on plants, gardening supplies, or hired landscapers either — despite what some nurseries or big-box stores might tell you. From free seeds and compost to low-cost ways to care for your plants, here's how to continue gardening for dirt cheap.
Before you dig in, get advice from the pros. The USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture provides free and informal education and other helpful resources for home gardeners and farmers through university extension programs across the country — including virtual programs that let you learn from home. Local garden clubs and community gardens offer free classes; look for those led by Master Gardeners.
Don't forget to check for services at your local library, including online books, or the USDA National Agricultural Library for helpful books and articles. Related: 11 Tips for a Flourishing Indoor Garden.
Community gardens are a popular option for people with limited space, particularly in urban areas. You get a small plot of land usually for low annual membership dues, and you can save money thanks to shared tools, free compost, classes, and advice from fellow gardeners.
The American Community Gardening Association website can help you find a garden. If the waitlist is really long at the gardens in your area or there isn't one close by, the site offers resources and advice on starting your own.
Related: 12 Essential Tools for Frugal Gardeners. Container gardening is another low-cost option if space is scarce.
Whether growing in pots on your porch, a window box, or maybe a creative vertical garden on a wall, container gardening cuts down on costs because you don't have to use as much fertilizer, water, and other resources. You can often create one using free or found objects, such as wooden pallets and boxes.
It's a great way to develop gardening skills with minimal investment. Plus, the plants will brighten up your home. For more great money-saving tips, please sign up for our free newsletters. By connecting with other gardeners, you can cut costs tremendously. Together, you can buy in bulk and save on fertilizer, compost, plants, and other supplies.
You can plan plant swaps and seed exchanges so you can diversify a garden without spending. You can also share tools, equipment, and other resources. To find a gardening community, ask friends, post on social media, or see if there's already a gardening club nearby. Healthy soil is the ultimate key to a healthy garden. You can do some simple at-home tests to find out how much sand, silt, or clay is in your soil. Inexpensive soil tests are also available at garden stores.
If you want a deeper look, most local extension programs offer free or inexpensive testing that examines pH levels, salinity, and the overall biological composition of your soil. After testing soil, you can find out what to add to create a productive garden. Adding organic compost is one of the best ways to improve soil, and you can do it without spending a dime by making your own.
You can build a container with inexpensive or found materials, or check local message boards to see if anybody is giving one away. You likely already have compost ingredients such as kitchen scraps, grass clippings, dry leaves, wood chips, and newspaper. You can also often get free materials including coffee grounds from local coffee shops or manure and straw from farms. And municipalities often give away compost.
Rather than buying seedlings, you can start your garden from seed for much less money, and in many cases for free. Most seed companies offer free seed catalogs to order by mail. If you order very early in the season, you can usually get discounts. One seed packet is usually more than enough for one home gardener for a season, so this is a great time to go in together with gardening pals.
Find out if there is a local seed lending library where you can "check out" seeds for free if you bring back seeds at the end of the season. This might seem obvious, but it's easy to get carried away with wanting to plant everything under the sun, when you're really going to eat only your favorite vegetables and fruit.
Think about what you currently eat and start growing those items, and hold off on the more exotic varieties until you've got the hang of it. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, beans, and hearty greens such as kale are usually a good place to start. Choose plants that are simple to care for and produce a big yield, such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and squash.
You'll want to know your local Plant Hardiness Zone to find out what plants thrive in your area. Talk to other local gardeners to learn what grows well. Also, consider easy-to-grow salad greens and herbs, since you can cut them as you need them and they'll continue growing.
Succession planting , where you continually replant and rotate crops throughout the season, is another way to increase yield. Big-ticket grocery items, such as heirloom tomatoes and organic greens, can be grown in your garden, and you'll save a bundle. Plus they'll taste even better when you pick them just before eating them.
Growing organically can also save money as you don't buy costly pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides. As you may have learned from your parents or grandparents, preserving the vegetables and fruits from a garden is a practical way to extend its bounty and save money throughout the year. Potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, and winter squash can be stored for months at cool temperatures in a cellar.
Tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, beets, and sweet corn can be canned or frozen. Follow the guidelines from the National Center For Home Food Preservation to stay safe and to make the most of what you grow. Related: Thinking About Home Canning? Why buy fancy garden containers and decorations when you can save a bundle and have a unique look by getting creative?
Raised beds are a great way to cut costs, as you only need to focus on watering; you can build your own beds fairly easily and cheaply often using found or discounted lumber — just be sure the wood is not chemically treated. Consider repurposing things such as old drawers, tires, wooden pallets, and shipping crates to build creative containers. Avoid costly water bills during the growing season with water-efficient garden designs.
There are plenty of ways to cut water costs , including using drip irrigation and soaker hoses, and watering early in the day to avoid evaporation loss. You can also collect water with rain barrels and other water harvesting techniques. Many cities offer incentive programs and discounts on rain barrels and other systems. Pay attention to how much water each plant requires; some plants, such as lettuce and broccoli, need more than others.
Related: 13 Alternatives to a Traditional Grass Lawn. Mulch is another way to curb water costs, as it helps retain moisture and cuts down on garden maintenance such as weeding without the use of herbicides.
Bark mulch from the store can get expensive, especially if you have a lot of ground to cover. Cheap mulching options that will also help improve your soil include shredded dry leaves, newspaper printed with soy ink, biodegradable landscaping paper, or a layer of compost.
Your city or town might offer free wood mulch. Just be sure that it's been well-aged and doesn't contain weed seeds or other contaminants. Avoiding harsh chemical pesticides and herbicides in your garden is not only a good idea for the planet but also for whoever is eating your fruits and vegetables. Thankfully, there are plenty of homemade pest deterrents that can be made from common household items such as garlic and chili pepper.
Related: The Best Leaf Blowers. One of the best ways to organically deter unwanted insects and encourage beneficial ones such as bees and other pollinators is by planting helpful border plants and lourlowers such as marigolds, lavender, and sunflowers. Companion planting can also deter pests and help boost the flavor and strength of multiple plants. While you might be excited to start planting everything at once, knowing the right time to plant certain crops can save money and make a garden more productive.
Yard sales and online classifieds are great places to pick up useful garden tools such as shovels, trowels, and pruners for cheap, just be sure they're in good working condition. You also should visit garden supply shops and hardware stores at the end of the growing season; they'll often sell tools at a huge discount to clear inventory.
You'll want to take good care of your tools so you don't have to spend more money later. Be sure to rinse off your tools after each gardening session and dry them well before storing them. Wiping down wooden handles and metal parts with linseed oil will help preserve and protect them. You also may want to invest in a sharpener or a whetstone to prolong the life of blades and pruning shears. Also, add lubricant to keep pivot points moving. As exciting as starting a garden can be, our busy lives can sometimes get in the way as the season moves along.
But by tending to a garden regularly and making it part of your routine, you can keep it flourishing and get the most bang for a buck from the investment. Creating a special calendar or using an inexpensive or free garden planner, found easily online, can help you stay on schedule and remind you to tend to your plot. One way to start growing early in the season and protect them late into the fall is by using cold frames.
Think of a cold frame as a mini-greenhouse that requires less space and usually costs less. Most cold frame designs can be built in a weekend afternoon from inexpensive or free recycled materials such as old windows, spare lumber, PVC pipes, or sheets of vinyl. Cold frames can extend a growing season by weeks and sometimes months. If you have room, planting trees is a great way to provide shade on hot sunny days and help keep a house cool with free and natural air-conditioning.
Plus, fruit trees and bushes can add to your edible harvest. Trees can get expensive, but if you start small, the cost isn't usually too much, and the payoff down the road will be huge. Certain trees — including citrus, figs, and stone fruit, depending where you live — can be grown in large pots on rooftops, balconies, and porches.
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Creating a Pallet Garden – Step by Step Instructions
September might be my favorite month for gardening. While springtime tends to get a lot of attention when it comes to gardening, I find that fall is the best time of year to grow here in Florida. Here in Florida, fall is a time where you can grow both warm season and cool season crops. The majority but not all cool season crops can be planted like cabbage and broccoli.
Spring is also a great time to move plants already growing in your garden. You may be reorganizing a flower bed or making a new bed — transplanting now gives.
A Beginner's Guide to Vegetable Gardening
A daily stroll is your secret garden weapon this December. Pinching little laterals off your tomatoes and peppers leaves … [Read More A single leader tomato is a very fine thing. Easy to stake. Easy to pick. Easy to spot pests. Easy to spray. But most important of all in my high rainfall not reliably hot climate - plenty of airflow and sun for … [Read More
Kitchen gardens – 10 steps to start your own vegetable garden and what to grow
Want to learn how to start a garden, but not sure where to begin? Get ready to enjoy some of the best tasting fruits, vegetables and herbs you've even eaten. I break this rule for flowers. Edible or not, I like to see at least a few in every garden.
You are definitely not alone. In the pursuit of fresh, organic produce, city-dwellers often have to suffice themselves with overpriced and subpar vegetables, greens and fruits from the supermarkets or grocery delivery apps.
23 DIY Garden Ideas to Makeover Your Backyard
Sometimes the simplest solutions take the longest to reveal themselves. Just ask Polly Gorden. It took her almost two decades to finally figure out how to turn a neglected corner of her backyard into a great-looking and productive vegetable garden. The answer? Galvanized raised garden beds. Stock tanks, also known as troughs, make a great and attractive alternative to wooden raised beds.
45 Amazing Indoor Garden Ideas: #27 is So Easy!
Choose a spot that is sunny, sheltered from the wind and easy to access for harvesting and watering. Space doesn't need to be a barrier to growing your own fresh homegrown food. Small concrete planters, troughs, flexi tubs, wine barrels, terracotta planters, old baths, and wooden planters are all options to consider. You can easily grow your own with a container on the deck planted with salad greens and herbs - these types of plants can be packed in more closely. Like building a house a good foundation is the key to success in your garden.
Check out the Royal Botanic Garden's top tips and learn how to grow your own veges at home. Stories Best vegetables to grow for beginners. 30 Oct
The Easiest Fruits and Vegetables to Grow for Beginners
Plant sunny yellow daffodil bulbs in fall for a cheerful spring show. Pride of Lion daffodils open true yellow blooms. Autumn is the perfect time to plant many different items, including grass, trees, tulips and daffodils. Pests and disease problems typically dwindle in fall, and in many regions, seasonal rains help give plants a solid start.RELATED VIDEO: Top 10 Vegetables to plant in September
What should you be doing in your garden this month? Find out here. Most Recent Plant bulbs and mums. November Garden Calendar Time to tuck your garden into bed for winter! Time to plant everywhere.
There is nothing quite like a home garden to supply you and your family with a variety of nutritious vegetables that can be enjoyed fresh or preserved for later use.
Though we get great joy from maintaining and enjoying our outdoor spaces, there's no denying that keeping a garden in good condition takes year-round time and effort. From cutting down perennials in February to planting greenhouse seedlings in December to reap the benefits of an early flower , staying on top of our green-fingered to-do list can feel daunting. We find that taking it step-by-step can be the difference between enjoying our garden maintenance jobs and feeling overwhelmed by them, and so, this weekend, we're tackling 10 easy outdoor tasks that will ensure our outdoor spaces are in tip-top condition come autumn. As we were always told, it pays to prepare, and that's never been more true than when it comes to our gardens. Country Living spoke to gardening expert, Rebecca Baron, to find out exactly what we should be getting on with over the next few weeks.
Before this blog took over, I worked as a garden designer for over 10 years. My favorite gardens always had an edible garden in them! They are all well planned, easily accessible, very productive, inviting, and beautiful.