Growing an Herb Garden on a Budget

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In today's economy, all of us are finding ways to cut back on expenses while still enjoying our hobbies.  As I said in a previous blog post, I am new to gardening, so enjoy reading up and finding new and creative ways to feed by hobby while saving money.  This year, I decided to learn about growing my own herbs.  Here are the four main questions I asked myself before I started:

  1. Seeds or Plants? If you are like me and want to grow herbs and spend very little money, opt for seeds.  They are very inexpensive- I bought a basil and parsley packet for less than $1.00 at my local hardware store.  If you also go the seed route, use an empty egg crate and put some dirt in it and plant one seed per egg holder. 

  2. Indoors or Outdoors?  Depending on where you live can make a big difference.  Here in the midwest our weather and temperatures are sporadic at best!  So, I chose to grow my seeds indoors.  If you do decide to go the seeds route for herbs, I would still recommend starting them indoors, and moving them outside once they have started growing. Inside there is no risk of the elements killing them, but keep them in an area that gets at least 6 hours of sun per day.

  3. What Herbs to Buy?  This was the toughest decision for me... I read and read about different herbs and finally came to an article that posed this question: "What types of herbs do you use the most?"  This led me to buying basil and parsley- I no longer need to spend the money on buying fresh from the grocery store as I now have the luxury of getting it from my own kitchen! It is wonderful and the flavors are much, much better than store-bought.

  4. What do I plant them in?  After your seeds have sprouted, or if you opted in to buy a plant, look at the type of space they need to grow.  I learned parsley has long roots so needs a deep pot.  Also, look around your home and see what you could repurpose to plant your herbs in.  There is no need to spend money when there is a great planter stuffed in the closet! Check out HGTV's website for great ideas: http://www.hgtv.com/landscaping/unusual-succulent-container-gardens/pictures/index.html

These are the questions I asked myself when decided to start my own herb garden.  Since I am a newby, I started myself with two different herbs to grow.  Next year, I will venture out to 3 or more.  The best thing growing an herb garden did for me was giving me something to be excited about.  I was thrilled when I saw the first green popping through the brown soil.  Then, even happier when I got to use the basil and parsely to cook my families dinner.

I am not an expert gardener, and the questions above are the things I asked myself before I went to the store and got the materials I needed to start planting.  If you have more questions, or I didn't touch on something you are interested in learning more about, just ask!  And, as always, please share your experience- whether you are new to growing herbs or peg yourself as an expert, I am looking to continue learning and sharing, and hope you all do too!

Till Next Time,

Andrea

 

 

 

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