This year I vowed to plant a frugal vegetable garden. I mean I always do that but a very frugal super cheap vegetable garden as in almost no money spent. I have been trying to get the garden in by only buying a few seed packets. I will share what has worked for me so far and since our spring comes early you can then use these money saving gardening tips when you get ready to start your spring garden.
Here is how to start a frugal money saving vegetable garden.
I went through my seeds and determined what I needed. I have not grown peppers from seed before so this year I needed to buy and start plants early.
I decided to experiment and see if I could avoid buying potting soil and use straight compost for seed starting and in my containers. WELL, I have to tell you YOU can! It has been working wonderfully and all my seeds are germinating quickly. Below is cilantro I am growing in a pot with straight compost.
One trick you have to try is creating mini green houses over your emerging seedlings. The is the best frugal garden tip for starting your seeds. #1 it keeps the environment warmer, the soil remains damp and it provides protection from critters nibbling on your seedlings. I use old plastic fruit containers from the market. I just put them right over the top of my plants or you could plant right in the container for transplanting later.
I am using my clothes pin plant markers to keep track of what I have planted. You can see my compost is not very fine or sifted. I use it with bits of this and that in there and it has not seemed to matter. All my seeds are germinating fine. I plant seeds in anything from old six packs from the nursery to egg shells to old yogurt cups. Just make sure you have a drainage hole in the bottom.
If you grow bell peppers in containers like I do did you know you can keep them as perennials for a few years? I just trim the plant way back in winter and top dress with compost and feed with compost tea. The bell pepper below is three years old and already has blossoms forming. I also use this method with herbs. You could overwinter them in a garage or basement possibly too. I of course live in Southern California so winters are mild.
Next time I will focus on germinating seeds and what I do to give them a super start.