So you want to…

So you want to garden, you want to get your hands in the dirt and begin your own journey into simple living. There are a few problems though, cost and space! This season I will be sharing great tips with you for the urban gardener on a budget! 

I love the idea of self sufficiency for cost cutting! It is actually why I initially started this whole blog in the first place. When I began I was a mom receiving state assistance for food, with two boys who loved fresh produce! Which as we all know is very costly, the quality is usually on the lower end because of being trucked cross country or even cross-continental! My answer to that was to use the ability to purchase plant and seed for consumption on the SNAP program and to try to create an iniative to encourage the system to teach recipients the benefits of gardening their own food for both cost and health! 

Last season alone we managed to save an astounding $700 over the summer alone in produce. That doesn’t even begin to count in the savings for produce we saved frozen, processed into sauces, purée or even pickled. Or the savings we bestowed on to others by sharing extras! We offered a free produce stand, and even began an elderly out reach program delivering fresh produce to local elderly people on a budget! 

 

One Harvest!
  
Free Produce Stand

The savings and sharing were abundant! So with savings like that how or why could we or would we even try to make this more cost efficient! 

SIMPLE! Because everyone should know the tricks and tips to cost effective gardening! 

  
Recycled goods are great way to save money when beginning your seeds. Seed starter trays can cost upwards of $4 for a 60 slot tray, the plastics can dry rot and the tops are flimsy and tend to crack and break. 

I’m going to share two great recycled mini green house ideas with you today! 

The first is super easy and requires minimal work. We’re going to take egg cartons and convert them first. I will be using solid plastic egg cartons but you can also use traditional egg cartons as well which also has another benefit we will discuss. 

First though I will show you how to turn a solid plastic one into a mini greenhouse. 

 

Plastic Egg Carton

Nellies Cage Free Eggs come in these plastic cartons. They are a light weight plastic and triple layered. 

 

Completely open
 
These work great and making it only requires two simple cuts into the bottom tray in the shape of an X. 

  
Once complete fill with dirt, plant and close. 

  

  
The top easily matks with sharpie so you can label exactly what is in each tray or even in each hole if you’re planting multiple seeds. 

  
The next one has been shared by many bloggers, vloggers, and gardeners. It’s super easy! They’re durable and last multiple seasons.

   
 

Start by removing the cap and squeezing the air out of the bottle
  
Where the lines begin again on the bottom of the bottle make your first cut completely across the bottle. 

  Remove the label 
  
Cut at the last ridged line 

   
Replace the cap on the top. 

 
Reshape the bottom

  
Fit top and bottom together and you’re done. 

  
Another terrific option for gardeners is the jiffy pot. Here is another great recyclable way to make your own. 

Traditional egg cartons and some jiffy pots are made out of similar materials. Both are biodegradable and great at absorbing and holding moisture.

You’re going to simply remove the top, and pot pea sized holes in the bottom of each cup. You can start all of your seeds in the tray, once they pop and they’re ready for transplant into the ground take a box knife cut each cup into individual cups, soak thoroughly in water, remove the bottom of the cup and plant! 

SO EASY!! 

Well as always from all of us here on the Half-Acre Honestead have a wonderful day! 

Peace, Love, Salvation! 

Tara

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