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3 Reasons You Think You Can't Start a Garden (And Why You're Wrong)

Updated: Mar 1

Have you thought about starting a garden or growing some veggies, but decided against it because you thought it would just be too difficult? Maybe you think you don't have a "green thumb" or you've had a bad experience in the past. Well if you've been thinking about starting a garden but haven't taken the leap, let's address three of the reasons that might be holding you back.

Gardening is too expensive. While you can go a little crazy, especially getting started, it doesn't have cost an arm and a leg to start growing some veggies. You can get creative and make planters and raised beds from a variety of materials. Check out Pinterest and you'll find plenty of inspiration! I've seen raised bed gardens made out of everything from wooden pallets and plastic crates to old tires, barrels, cinder blocks and even scrap wood. You can make a container for your deck out of almost anything with hole in the bottom. My friends recently attached some old gutters to their fence and are growing lettuce, radishes and other veggies in them! Fabric pots are all the rage and come in a variety of sizes. They are relatively inexpensive and work great for growing veggies. You also don't have to fill your containers and garden beds with expensive premixed soil. I have some great ideas in my Gardening Tips section for making a reasonably priced soil mix yourself. Seeds and plants are also relatively inexpensive and think about the money you will save in groceries by producing your own food!

I don't have enough space for a garden. Even if you don't have a large yard to till up for an in-ground garden, you can use whatever you have available. My dad lives in a townhouse and can't plant his veggies in the ground. But he has amassed a collection of over 60 pots for his flowers and vegetable plants. There is almost no vegetable that can't be grown in a container! There are lots of options for vertical gardening that maximize a small space. Many towns now offer community gardens where you can reasonably rent a small plot of land to grow your veggies. Most of them will even till the soil for you upon request! You can also grow some types of veggies, such as lettuce or herbs, inside the house or in a window sill. As long as you have sunshine and water, you can grow plants even in very small space.

I'm too busy to take care of a garden. The key here is to stay on top of it! Once you have your garden planted, you'll only need to commit to spending an hour or two per week for watering, weeding, and maintaining your plants. You can greatly reduce the amount time spent on weeding by mulching with wood chips, straw, grass clippings or even cardboard. Keep weeds at bay by using a hoe regularly to disrupt the weeds before you can even spot them. You'll want to apply fertilizer every 4 to 6 weeks, but if you choose a granular type, it takes very little time to sprinkle it around the plants.

The key to watering is consistency. Don't let your garden go bone dry for days and then drown it with water or you'll most likely end up with issues. However, you only need to water in-ground gardens deeply once or twice per week, depending on the weather and your soil. Raised beds are less likely to dry out because the soil mix tends to retain water and air longer than soil in the ground. Pots or containers require the most frequent watering, sometimes daily in the hot summer months. Of course if you love spending time outside in your garden, there are lots of optional activities like pruning, staking your plants, and taking pictures for Snapchat. But as long as you stay on top of the weeding, feeding, and watering, you'll get a great harvest and of course that's the fun part!

Well there you have it! You can start growing your own veggies inexpensively, in a small amount of space, even if you only have a couple of hours per week to spare. Even if you start small, the important thing is to start. Grow something you love and it will love you back!

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