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Fri Jun 29, 2018, 05:19 AM

Frugal gardening ideas for frugal times

The purpose of this thread is to discuss ideas for a frugal garden(s) that provide a significant portion of one's or a family's food needs and incorporate those ideas into your gardening routine so in case there arises a situation where one cannot get food from the local stores or gas for power garden equipment or even seeds in the spring or early summer, you are already acclimatized to gardening in such a way that if things got bad, it really wouldn't affect your gardening so that'd be one less stresser to deal with.

It's understood that there is no one plan that fits all and everybody's situation, needs and capabilities are different and it's also understood that the vast majority of us simply don't have the land, stamina and skills to produce a large quantity of a wide variety of foods. But the idea here is to maximize what one does have to produce some basics and to do it a frugally as possible.

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply Frugal gardening ideas for frugal times (Original post)
Kaleva Jun 2018 OP
appleannie1943 Jun 2018 #1
Kaleva Jun 2018 #3
appleannie1943 Jun 2018 #4
NRaleighLiberal Jun 2018 #7
Kaleva Jun 2018 #10
NRaleighLiberal Jun 2018 #11
Kaleva Jun 2018 #2
Kaleva Jun 2018 #6
appleannie1943 Jun 2018 #5
NRaleighLiberal Jun 2018 #8
safeinOhio Jun 2018 #9
Hortensis Jul 2018 #12
Kaleva Jul 2018 #13

Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Fri Jun 29, 2018, 05:27 AM

1. Right now I have a straw bale garden on a slab of cement.

Something like that would work for people living in a city without a yard to plant in. I save seeds from year to year of my favorite plants and start them on windowsills in late winter/early spring.

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Response to appleannie1943 (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 29, 2018, 05:44 AM

3. I've never heard of that method of gardening!

Did a quick Google search and found this website that discusses it.

https://modernfarmer.com/2013/07/straw-bale-gardening/

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 29, 2018, 05:52 AM

4. Look it up on youtube. There are a lot of videos on it.


I live in PA and have already had salads, zucchini, collards and Swiss chard.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/KZa-JF7ODPsJCSTZvYyQ_TKsy-D9mYitXN7NPEeIIDpFJRO5wV6alOTda1Czzi36qSAU=s114

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #7)

Fri Jun 29, 2018, 11:18 AM

10. I have your first book "Epic Tomatoes" on my tablet and I'll get this one too.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #10)

Fri Jun 29, 2018, 12:06 PM

11. thanks! I am working on my third - hoping to get it out late fall

telling the story of our unique dwarf tomato breeding project

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Fri Jun 29, 2018, 05:33 AM

2. Pallet gardening

This is a link to a site that describes how to use pallets to make raised beds to grow shallow rooted crops:

https://thefarmerslamp.com/diy-free-pallet-garden-in-4-easy-steps/

There are lots of YouTube videos on this and here is just one example made by a beer drinking, cussing Canadian:



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Response to Kaleva (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 29, 2018, 06:03 AM

6. A simple pallet trellis for cucumbers.



Looks like one could use it for summer and winter squash too.

Another video:

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Fri Jun 29, 2018, 05:57 AM

5. A video


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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Fri Jun 29, 2018, 07:03 AM

8. A few frugal things that I do

Reuse - whether seed starting plug flats, containers, spent straw bales, garden stakes, even the planting mix in containers (with a major caveat - as long as the plants grow well....if something dire takes them down, then one should toss and start fresh).

Go inexpensive or free - basic heat mats, the big containers that shrubs and trees come in, or even wind up on highway median strips. Often nurseries have stacks of pots and trays that they are looking to offload - just ask.

Avoid fancy solutions (plant clips) and go with a big ball of sisal twine for tying vining plants to stakes

Grow your support - use Bamboo for stakes, instead of purchasing them from big box stores

Join a seed saving or sharing organization or use a seed library - and educate yourself on the longevity of various seeds (for example, tomato seeds will germinate well for at least 14 years).

Start your own seeds, rather than overpaying for individual plants - and plant them thickly (I use 50 cell plug flats and plant up to 50 seeds in each - transplant to individual containers once they are big enough - you can then donate or sell your extras).

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Fri Jun 29, 2018, 07:57 AM

9. Almost all of my plants die..no green thumb here,so

I hunt, fish and forage. Lucky to live where I do as all of that is just outside my door.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #9)

Sun Jul 15, 2018, 12:48 PM

12. Well, kudzu reaching Ohio would be good for you then.

All parts are edible, though older stems may be too tough for a goat to graze and when dormant in winter you'd have to dig up the tubers. But viewed as a forager garden it couldn't get more frugal or efficient, as long as it's on someone else's land.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Tue Jul 24, 2018, 04:37 AM

13. For frugal times, most gardens ought to include these basic vegetables.

I'm working on my 1800 plus square foot garden and it's my plan to grow every year a group of vegetables that could provide me and my wife sustenance for several months if things go bad.

The criteria is that they:

Be relatively easy to grow
Are relatively east to store
Have a relatively long shelf life

I have full basements in two homes and it's my intent to use the basement of the small home which we pretty much close down for the winter as a root cellar. So what I'm plan on doing may not be applicable to your situation as you may not have the space for a large enough garden or have space to store the vegetables.

So here's my list:

Potatoes- properly stored, certain cultivars of potatoes, such as Elba, Katahdin, Red Chieftain, Yukon Gold, Burbank Russet, German Butterball, Yukon Gem, Rose Finn Apple Fingerling and Russian Banana Fingerling, can last for 6 months or more.

Winter Squash-Butter Nut and Blue Hubbard can last 6-7 months and one can harvest seeds from them for the following year's crop.

Pumpkin-Certain varieties of pumpkin can last up to 2-3 months.

Cabbage-If you make it into sauerkraut, this can last for many months if properly stored. I've made sauerkraut before in buckets and I just had the buckets sitting on the basement floor. I'm going to make some more this fall as my father-in-law has lots of cabbage growing in his garden.

Carrots and parsnips- With proper preparation, carrots and parsnips can be left in the ground and harvested as needed. I've never tried this but I'll give it a shot. The trick is to plant the carrots and parsnips at the right time so that they have matured when cold weather sets in. The link also provides info on other methods of storing.

Onions-The right varieties of onions properly stored can last for months.

Dry beans-While harvesting and curing dry beans may be time consuming, dried beans are about the easiest to store as they can be kept in a suitable container in a pantry.

Other then stocking up on pickling or kosher salt for making sauerkraut, once my method of storage is set up, I should be able to use it year after year without having to purchase other ingredients or items such as canning lids.

Keeping some potatoes and dried beans for seed and harvesting seeds from the pumpkins and winter squash for future crops is simple. Harvesting seeds from cabbage, carrots, parsnips is more involved but can be done.




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