Our First Real Garden

by Nannette Gilbert

I grew up in the suburbs, and have never had a real garden. The last couple of years I have planted a few flowers, but not much. This year my husband and I, with help from his mom, have started our first real garden.

Last Saturday, I told Jeff I wanted to go to the Denver Botanical Gardens Plant Sale. We waited until everything was half off and purchased a mini rose bush, 2 cherry tomato plants, and 2 herbs for $7.51.

On Mother's Day, Jeff and his mom Sue, surprised me with flowers and mulch for the backyard which was around $17. After a full day of planting and creative use of resources, we have an indoor herb terrarium planted in an old fishtank, 3 flower pots planted in old Tupperware containers, one wildflower pot planted in an old tub with leftover seeds from last year, and a small backyard garden.

We used rocks from the playground and chipped bark from the property tree plantings. Our whole area is under redevelopment and no one cared when we asked to use the available resources.

The whole backyard looked great when we were finished after spending only $24. But on Monday, we discovered that we were still in the planting mood. The front area only had a couple of flower pots. Off we went to the nursery, we purchased 4 strawberry plants, 4 broccoli plants, 16 onion plants, 3 cucumber plants, 2 cantaloupe plants, and 1 watermelon plant.

I created a stand on the patio to arrange the flower pots from the extra bricks and a plank of wood. Jeff dug up the garden with a shovel, since it was too small to rent a rototiller. It did hurt his hands, though.

Alicia, my daughter, and I planted all the plants. We then surrounded the garden with a woodchip border. It looks great. Since we are very inexperienced, we just hope some of the plants live and produce.

Our total expense was: $35.00

Next year we plan to save more by starting some plants from seed.

Other ideas to save:

  • Collect and store containers to use even if chipped or broken, because they will still work as outdoor planters.
  • Create your own compost pile of veggie peels, egg shells, and some paper. No animal products, uck.

Nannette is married to Jeff and they live in Denver, Colorado, with their three children Alicia, Michael, and Dalton. She is a college senior who began writing on the Internet as part of her schooling.

This story originally appeared in: image

Take the Next Step:

  • Gardening on the cheap is simple. Just visit the TDS Frugal Gardening Guide and we'll show you the many ways frugal gardeners maintain beautiful, bountiful gardens for less.
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