It's time to start planting your garden. But you don't need a lot of space or money to get started.
Caroline, with Bakers Nursery in Phoenix, gave us some great ways to start a garden for less.
First she says the easiest and cheapest way to start a small garden is to buy a bag of potting soil, poke holes in one side and cut a square hole in the other side... Then plant directly in the bag!
Another way to keep costs down is to use re-claimed materials like used tires and boards recovered from construction sites to build your planters. Just fill the tires with dirt and you're ready to start planting.
We found nice, wooden boxes at Bakers for $13 to $15... another easy and inexpensive planter that will look nice where ever you put it.
You can buy potting soil or mix dirt from your yard with compost for your potting soil.
For planting materials, you need to decide if starting from transplants or seed is the most cost-effective.
Caroline said it's most cost effective to use seeds for vegetables like radishes, carrots, beets, and leafy greens. You will potentially plant several crops during the season of these veggies so buying plants can get really expensive.
Another great way to save money is to share/trade seeds and plants with friends and family. If you have heirloom seeds, you can also save the seeds from this year's harvest and use it next year instead of spending more cash on seeds.
If you have really limited space, Caroline said going vertical is a great way to pack more plants into a space, by using trellises to support vines (like cucumbers, pumpkins, squashes) or by letting smaller vines drape down the side of your planter.
Right now is the biggest planting season for Phoenix. You can plant everything from carrots, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and the list goes on. There are several planting calendars to help you figure out when to plant everything.
So now you have no excuses! Start planting your winter garden. It's healthier, and in the long run will save you more cash since you should make fewer trips to the grocery store.