Growing your own fruit and vegetables can be one of the most rewarding things to do, especially if you’re on the route to self sustainability. If you’re on a budget you’re in luck, because there’s a very easy way to start growing your own that doesn’t require much outlay.
First of all start with a basic assortment of seeds; these are much cheaper to buy than pre-grown starter plants. Pick seeds that easily grown indoors first – like tomatoes, aubergine, and lettuce. All they need is sunlight.
Once you have your seeds you want to find some old containers to plant them in. You can use anything like old bottles cut in half and egg cartons too. I use old take-away cartons for mine.
You’ll need to invest in a small pack of potting mix. Shop online for this as you can get some great deals. There’s no need to invest in an expensive lighting system. Just get a cheap desk top lamp with a movable shaft and energy saving bulb. The total cost of the outlay (excluding the seeds) should come to roughly $32.00 yet what you’ll ultimately make back is worth much more.
Plant small amounts of seeds at first – it’s easy to go crazy, especially with tomatoes.
Put the seedling trays in jiffy bags to help them germinate and place the light over them. They should have about 15 hours of light on them in winter. During the day they can easily get light on a window sill. Turn them often and water every other day. You’ll see after about four weeks or less the seedlings sprouting and its then that you can remove them from the jiffy bags.
From then on you just need to make sure they’re watered and turned (so they don’t grow too much in one direction.) In warmer climates you will need to water every day.
Re-pot them into medium pots when they’re strong enough but be sure to be careful with the roots. Once it’s warm enough they can be placed outside and can be re-potted into larger pots when they really begin to grow. If you’re on a budget you may want to use old buckets or even tyres for pots. If your ground outside is suitable you can plant them directly into the soil.
These are the basics to growing your own vegetables on a budget. Not only is it cost effective it’s extremely rewarding both practically and as a hobby.
Photo Credit: By Katie Hannan