Gardening for Beginners


Gardening can be a great way to save money. After all, were supposed to eat more fruits and vegetables, so why not be able to just pull them out of your garden for free? However, as with any project, there are costs associated with it.

The most important thing is to have realistic expectations. While you will almost certainly get something your first year, it will probably take a couple years to really start getting a good yield. And if you plan on doing a more extensive garden, it may take a few years to recoup your expenses. Our first year we hardly got anything, but now we have enough to have vegetables throughout the winter.

Your first step is deciding on a spot and digging it out. Digging out sod is hard work. You may want to get a sod cutter (usually available for rent from a local hardware store). If you are starting from scratch, thats probably a good idea, unless you really love the idea of cutting out the sod yourself. We were lucky in that we only had to expand an existing area, so we just used a good old-fashioned shovel. However, be aware of whats there already. If its just grass, youre fine, but if youre using a spot that used to be weedy, be aware that your first years harvest may be slim, as it will be hard to keep all the weeds out.

Tilling the soil is important because it makes it a lot easier for the roots to grow well (and if you grow carrots in rough soil youll get forked carrots). You can also till in mulch (or your own compost) to help give the soil nutrients to make it more fertile. If youre going to be gardening for the long haul, its worth it to invest in some compost buckets and a tiller. We got an electric tiller for about $200, which was the cost of four days worth of rental. Weve already broken even since we used it at least four times in the first summer alone.

My advice would also be to invest in some rabbit fence and stakes. Rabbits love gardens – theyre like salad buffets. Good rabbit fencing isnt that expensive, and is well worth it when it comes to protecting your plants as they grow.

If youre starting a garden this year, good luck!

Bekah blogs at Motherhood Moment where she shares tips about saving money and time, family-friendly meal ideas and eco-friendly advice, activities, and much more.

Bekah is going to share more on this topic with all of us too throughout the Summer and Fall. I'm so excited because I truly need all the help I can get! I have no green thumb!

Do you garden? Any tips for beginners?

Photo Credit

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on April 22, 2010


  • Dee - April 22, 2010 @ 9:12 am

    I love gardening! It’s a lot of fun and gets me outside. I square foot garden though so no need for a tiller.

    There is something to be said about walking barefoot through freshly tilled soil on a warm summer day.

  • lindsey - April 22, 2010 @ 10:41 am

    so we got a fence to keep out the bunnies but it didn’t help with the deer. the deer ate everything down to the nubs last year! and my garden was huge!

  • Attitude Seed Bank - April 22, 2010 @ 1:03 pm

    I just bought 30 packs of various veggies and fruits seed packs. I have 2 versions of tomatoes germing righ now and can’t wait to get them started. I love how there are more and more growing their own food lately.

  • Sarah H. - April 22, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

    Also, don’t forget to call before you dig if you live where the electric, gas, phone and cable lines are buried…… don’t want anyone to get a shock or worse….

  • Cheryl - April 22, 2010 @ 11:00 pm

    I’m starting to square foot garden this year too!

    I was told to stake twine around the garden area about waist high….it’s suppose to help keep the deer away; suposedly they can’t jump over it & they don’t like to cross under things……..but I was at a metro park last weekend & saw a deer go under a wooden fence & cross over into a field LOL
    I’m still willing to try it though

  • Anja - August 14, 2010 @ 3:29 pm

    This is a great resource full of information about gardening. There are lots of tips and advice for beginneres and you can also ask questions!

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