This week we have a special guest (aka my Mumma) who is a very experienced gardener (aka she can keep plants alive – something that wasn’t passed down the line haha) and previous co-owner/operator of a market garden (aka vegetable-growing farm). She’s sharing her tips and tricks for creating a budget-friendly ORGANIC VEGETABLE GARDEN at home as well as actually KEEPING IT ALIVE. The challenge was to create the garden for under $10, so here we go!
Who’s up for an organic vegetable garden challenge this week?
“I often hear people saying its so expensive to eat healthy and also that organic vegetables are so expensive.
It makes me feel a bit sad as its very easy to have a go at growing some vegetables and as long as you have a balcony you have space to grow some. While they may not be organic as such they will be spray free (unless you buy certified organic plants and mix).
So I embarked on a challenge with Krissy. I wanted to see how cheap we could get a planter and some seedlings growing. I wanted to achieve this for around 10 dollars NZ so I will show you how I went.
Firstly, I went to our local recycling centre. These are brilliant in New Zealand, usually located near your local tip or refuse centre. I did some research and I saw that in Australia you have recycling shops so I assume it could have the same things. Go check it out. – THANKS MA FOR CHECKING FOR US!
I had a look around and saw all types of pots etc. Sometimes you have to use your imagination and rummage around a bit and give things a clean but I was impressed with what I saw.
I chose a old recycling container that I got for 3 dollars NZ. ( I probably could have haggled but I am not much of a haggler ).
Firstly the container needs a drainage hole in the bottom. Add some rocks. Two reasons
- It helps weigh your pot down and gives it good drainage
- It takes less mix to fill your container 🙂
I added my bag of compost mixed it with a bit of dirt (optional) and then added the spinach.
Give them a gentle pat upside down and they should just pop out of the tray with roots in tact.
Water them in as soon as you plant them so they dont get too stressed from the whole moving house thing.
I will check back with a photo in a couple of weeks and see how progress goes.
Tips for your town garden:
Start with something easy if its your first time. No one likes a failure so go with easy to grow things like lettuces. Radishes. Courgettes (aka zucchini). Keep it simple.
Keep your container of plants near a door so you see them regularly and you will remember to water them…….and most importantly also you will see when they are ready to harvest!
If your budget is a bit higher then there are many planter options at the hardware stores and garden centres. And also lots of nice quality garden mixes.
If money is tight then take your time. Maybe find the container one week then compost the next and then the seedlings the week after. Also be clever in what you plant. I went for spinach for a few reasons. Its usually pretty pricey bagged at the supermarket. I can continuously pick through summer and if I get too much I can pick it and freeze it for smoothies so there is minimal wastage.
So how did i go with my 10 dollar challenge you ask?
- container 3.00
- Mix 4.80
- Spinach 3.00
And I kind of splashed out and got some radish seeds too so all up it was 13.80.
I still have nearly a full bag of seeds for later and my container is a keeper so I think I am on to a winner.
Only other bit of advice is follow all of the instructions on the potting mix. Use gloves and do it in a well ventilated area. Oh and yes have fun!”
Thank you Ma! Game on!
AND once you’ve harvested your spinach, here are some delicious ideas to use it!
If you have questions for my mum then please leave them below or on Instagram and I will plan a Q and A with her soon!
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