Friday, April 3, 2009

Starting our Vegetable Garden

One of my big frugal endeavors for this spring and summer is going to be a vegetable garden. I am very excited!

Last spring, we had just moved into our house, but I was so excited to finally have a yard that we managed to put in a few plants anyway. Our most successful crops were bell peppers, basil, and mint, and we enjoyed a pretty good harvest of those for several months. But this year I have visions of a much bigger output -- we'll see how it goes!

Last year we bought most of our plants as already started plants at home depot, plus we had to buy gardening tools, pots, soil, etc. So I don't actually know if we saved any money in the long run. However, this year we bought seeds for everything, and I'm trying to keep costs to a minimum in order to actually save money once we start harvesting some vegetables and herbs.
Here are the seeds we purchased:

We're not actually sure if the area we have to work with technically gets "full sun," which pretty much all vegetables seem to need, so there will definitely be some trial and error. However, I remember my dad raising pretty successful vegetables gardens even with somewhat limited sun at my childhood home.
Yesterday my daughter and I planted the seeds to start indoors: the tomatoes, bell peppers, jalepeno peppers, and canteloupes. I had used egg cartons last year, and they work well. You don't need drainage holes, as the water just soaks through the bottom.

I'll definitely sharing plenty of updates on our garden as the season progresses. I hope this will turn out to be both a money-saver and a great learning experience for our whole family.
Frugal Fridays are hosted by Life as Mom.
By the way, there's only a few more days to enter my first giveaway if you haven't already!


  1. Liz,

    I blame you. It is all your fault.

    Yesterday I visited a variety of stores and do you know what you made me do? Well, let me tell you.

    You made me:

    Buy multiple boxes of name brand cereal. At a dollar a box.

    Buy a Glade Sense and Spray. For less than a dollar.

    Buy an (expensive!) box of name brand pasta. For fifty cents.

    Buy a regular size bag of delicious rice cakes. For thirty nine cents.

    Trade my coupon for a bag of noodles. At no cost to me.

    This doesn't include the amazing deals I got on soup, deodorant, gum, drinks, and other purchases. You gave me the guiding hand that I needed to get started on this adventure, and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    THANK YOU! :-)

  2. Wow, that is really exciting! I am especially curious to find out how the jalapeno peppers turn out, Alex and I would put those on everything if we could!

  3. It really is awesome that you are planting a garden! While we were living in SB we (ok, my hubby) planted a garden. The squash took over! Nothing else "took" quite as well, but we had squash for ages...and we even gave a lot of it away to the neighbors!

    Good Luck! :-)

  4. Hey there. Here from Frugal Friday. I noticed you have aluminum foil under your seeds. Reason? We are also doing quite a bit of gardening. I have more info at and links at Also, I don't know if you are new at things, but you might want to investigate the difference in Heirloom seeds and books on saving seeds too, in case there is a seed shortage (which is already starting to happen a little). We are doing some in the ground, many sq ft garden boxes and many tires! Have a good one!

  5. Beth, thanks for the advice. We are very new at this! I have foil under the seeds just to catch the water as leaks through the egg cartons.

    My husband really wants to save seeds, so I'm going to check out your links.

  6. Not everything wants to have full sun.

    I don't know what aone you're in, but here in zone 9, we actually need some shade for things. Tomatoes like afternoon shade, and the melons like it too.

    It's too hot here for more radishes, but normally radishes, turnips, spinach and lettuce do well in the shade.

    Come check out my garden!

    And if you decide to save seeds, I have a free seed packet you can download, too!

  7. Best of luck on your garden. We are hoping to do the same as our weather warms.

  8. I'm totally envious. :) I LOVE gardening!


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