Frugal family: 5 ingredients for a budget garden

Due to the prevalence of deadlines and end-of-year-everything, I’ve neglected to write as of late.

Ah, we’ve been busy.

Here is just one of our cockamamie schemes: growing a garden the old-fashioned way.

Fingers crossed: maybe this is our year. 

Nature has obliterated gardens past with some combination of storm or drought.

Eli gardens
Eli gardens

Way back in April we began the undertaking of cleaning up the yard.

Our urban jungle’s no joke. This 1940s home was a foreclosure before we moved in. The couple who owns it spent a year and a half on a inside-out and beautiful DIY renovation. They only partially cleaned up the yard. I don’t blame them; it’s a bit much. We’re just happy to have escaped slummy. And on the upside, we’ve got bamboo out back. Mark frackin’ loves bamboo.

May came along and just about washed us all away. Here in Oklahoma all the rain relieved drought conditions, but not before doing nightmarish things like sweeping a toddler out of his father’s arms. Oh, Oklahoma. Land of extremes.

Here are the five ingredients we’ve used thus far for our frugal garden:

1. Elbow grease
This is obvious. Frugal = not hiring it out, or not hiring it out much. Back in April and, finally, again this past weekend, we cleared the heck out of our backyard with basic tools.

Which brings me to

2. Basic tools.
If you’ve go acreage, you’re on your own, but for our little urban yard hemmed with glorious, glorious chain link, the following sufficed: Mower, metal rake, a good shovel, a good trowel, weed popper, hand rake, lil saw and shears.

3. Entertainment strategy if you have kids…or dogs!

The kids like being out back and entertain themselves with dollar store (cuz I’m cheap) garden toys. You would not believe how much they love the tiny plastic watering cans. Pretty sure one of Eli’s many boy cousins passed along his mini-lawnmower. He loves that thing! Each has a pair of gloves they request to put on when we put on ours. I even tricked them into weeding! “C’mon kids, it’s fun!” Naturally, Eli yanked out a couple of wildflowers I’d planted back in April…which brings me to:

4. Seeds!

If you’ve decided to be frugal, then you probably decided not to spend $500 on plants. It is so tempting any time I swing by a Lowe’s, Ace Hardware…just about anywhere that has pretty plants. Especially grasses. Maybe it’s a plains thing. So far, I’ve resisted, thought we might eventually put a few in. I’m so frugal I first got seeds from Target…returned them…and went to the dollar store. Four packs for a dollar when each typically retails around $1.50 – CMON! I had wildflower seeds left over from years past. We also planted pumpkins and squash and will be putting some other veggies and herbs soon…the planting window is closing fast.

5. Patience

Immediate impact? HAPAHA try piles of dirt. If you’re doing it on the cheap, you’re gonna have to wait something like 30-100 days to see results. I put in some moon flower seeds just yesterday. I next Googled moon flowers and found out the Internet thinks they are the most romantic flower of flowers and should be placed around patios where you can enjoy the scent of the evening blooms. I next dug up my moonflower seeds and planted them next to our patio. In 100 days I will have patio of pure romance, according to the Internet. The line of wildflowers and sunflowers I planted along our back fence in April in an effort to block the neighbor’s eyesore dog shacks is starting to bloom! #thankgod

If you play your cards right, your garden will regenerate itself to some extent next year. A future post shall address this once I figure it out.

Happy frugal gardening. xo

Any tips for me? Leave a comment, send a note!

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We are trying to live the American frugal dream in the face of chronic disease. Follow along!


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