Meal Monday: Home Gardening

Sticking with the Eating Healthy On A Budget Series, this week we are talking about home gardening, living in Hawaii gives me a great opportunity to grow a lot of my own produce, but I have also lived in cold Northern California where you get snow in the winter so I know it can be done year round there as well, it mostly comes down to how and where you do it. There are so many benefits to growing your own produce but the biggest one is the cost of growing vs buying here is an example:

To grow 1 cucumber plant with the cost of my potting media, my planter cup (I reuse these), the seeds, and water it comes out to about $2 per plant. My last Cucumber plant produced 12 large cucumbers.

At my local Safeway the current price for 1 large cucumber (non-organic) is $2.99

The cost of 1 large cucumber (organic) is $3.50.

Lets do some math-

12 Cucumbers @ $2.00 per plant comes to $0.16 per cucumber

12 Cucumbers @ $2.99 per Cucumber comes to $35.88

Thats a huge difference in price. Another great aspect of home gardening is you get control over the use of pesticides. But enough with the benefits, I am going to take you through and tell you exactly how I grow my plants.

The first thing I do is start off with planting media, potting mix is ok too but never potting soil as it does not allow proper drainage and can cause mildew and can even kill the plant.

I fill the planter cup 2/3 of the way full then add 3-4 seeds spaced out around the container. I do this so that I can choose the healthiest looking plant and sometimes separate them into individuals plants so I have 3 rather than 1. Then fill over the seeds and press ever so lightly on the soil you don’t want it hard as a rock just firm.

Water when needed but use very little as your seeds won’t need much.

After 3 days they should start to sprout, continue watering until they reach 4-5 inches in height.

Then pick the best plant or plants to use in your garden.

When transplanting into your garden you want to make sure that you dig a whole deep enough to cover the plant and part of the stem. If you bury a 5 inch plant with only 1 inch above ground you provide the plant with a little extra stability as it grows.

Then just water when needed and let them do their thing.

I use the GardenPatch planter boxes, you can use anything you want even old milk cartons, but I wouldn’t go directly into the ground as you can’t control the elements i.e. soil, water, and bugs/critters.

1 last tip before we go, when planting for winter I would suggest container planting in your house, the best place I have found is your laundry room, the heat and humidity from your dryer is LOVED by the plants.

You can see my full Gardening Video below……….

   

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