Fall Gardening..Go Grow Something And Save!

Fall Gardening or just gardening in general is something I am very passionate about. It not only saves us money in our grocery budget but it is healthy for us and keeps us moving. When Mr. CBB approached me about doing a post for his site I jumped at the chance. I decided though since we all have different strengths with gardening that I should just share how we garden here at our Lil’ Suburban Homestead.

When we first moved to the coastal area six years ago we were frustrated with our gardening results initially. We learned quickly that we were going to have to amend our soil and do a lot of raised bed gardening and use a lot of pots to get that soil mixture just right.

We use a container mix from our local mulch yard (they blend it already and it includes topsoil, sand, and peat moss) but then we add our own compost, if it needs it we add more sand and peat moss and sometimes some vermiculite.  This takes years of figuring out I have to say my husband “The Viking” in my life has really fine tuned this and kind of knows what works for us. In this regard I really follow his instructions on the mixes for the most part. He is Mr. Scientific in our household and I’m the  researcher of  plants. I look for the best time to plant the seeds and what best to plant them with.

This Fall I decided that I wanted us to grow a lot of Asian greens, mustard greens, kale, Bok Choy and those types of vegetables. I recently heard a speaker who said they grown magnificently in our area. I have included some photos of some of the greens that are coming up right now.

Take the time to join a local gardening group and learn from others in your area that have been gardening longer. We joined a local group and have learned so much already. If that won’t work for you join some of the on-line gardening forums and try to connect with others in your area. Many of them have seed swaps etc. I have participated in several of these types of activities and it helps keep the costs down and you get to make new friends.

I do have some advice for those of you thinking about gardening…..

My no. 1 piece of advice is if you don’t plant it won’t grow! Gardening is an ACTION and you can think all day about how you would like some lovely radishes or lettuces but if you don’t go outside and get your hands dirty you won’t have either at least not from your own yard.

My no. 2 piece of advice is don’t just limit yourself to what you think you can grow try lots of different seeds. I was not sure how Jerusalem Artichokes would do in our area and they have done wonderfully! We also grew some purple okra this past summer that was just beautiful.

My no. 3 piece of advice is find a little space for a herb garden. There is something magical about growing herbs  as the scent from the garden will soothe your soul. It’s similar to having a  home apothecary and you can explore different home remedies using your herbs. My absolute favourite herb is Rosemary “ remembrance” and I treasure it. I love to serve it with roasts or on my homemade crash potatoes a recipe from Pioneer Woman’s Blog. I think the neat thing about herbs is you can find so many uses for them so it makes them a very fun gardening item!

Gardening does not have to be an expensive pursuit truthfully most of our seeds we swap with local gardening friends. Also if you take the time to collect seeds from your own plants of course not so much your hybrid plants (if you are unfamiliar with hybrids) it’s not that you can’t get a good plant to grow from them a second time it’s just there is no guarantee they are reliable for a second planting but please don’t stay away from hybrids for that reason. I have a pepper plant that is five years old that is a hybrid that still produces. For a long time we would just set aside $30.00 a month out of our budget for gardening supplies which helped us stick to our plans and accomplish our goals.

Our first goal was to build our greenhouse which we built for under $400.00 with mostly recycled materials if $30.00 a month is too much for you start with $10.00.  I have a friend that saves egg shells and milk cartons to start her seeds in. If you are primarily interested in growing your own food and becoming more self-sufficient I promise you vegetable plants are not picky or fussy and you can find free containers everywhere. Truthfully your most expensive gardening items in my opinion are your shears, your gloves, your soil mix and compost if you don’t have a free source of compost.

There are tricks to it all of course you definitely have to adjust your watering at times and if it’s raining too much you may have to move some plants to shelter.  You will learn the defeat of dealing with squash borers and tomato blight but we gardeners don’t give up. As a matter of fact my friend and I said the other day one of our favourite things about gardening is that you never know what kind of crop you are going to have, it’s always a surprise. On the flip side of that if your life were depending on the crop it would not be so much fun. I hope we have inspired some would be gardener out there and please know you can stop by our Lil’ Suburban Homestead any time always look forward to seeing you!

Thanks so much Mr. CBB for having me here at Canadian Budget Binder it was a pleasure to write this post reminded me of where we started and helped me to focus where we are heading with our garden this Fall so not to sound too cliché “Go Grow Something!”

Fondly,

Karen Lynn

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Mr. CBB
I’m from the UK and now a recent permanent resident in Canada. I bought my first house at the age of 21 after University then my second at the age of 24. I’ve always been fascinated with personal finance, savings, learning to make money and watch it grow while combating debts along the way. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where I get to share my experiences with personal finance and learn about yours along the way. I hope you stick around and check me out on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest where I am active on all social media sites. Cheers, Mr.CBB
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. theoutliermodel says:

    We just planted some parsley and carrots yesterday to go along with our kale. We also just harvested ~15 tomatoes and still have some more to harvest from our summer crop. Growing is the way to go!

  2. John S @ Frugal Rules says:

    Thanks for the post. My wife and I were discussing this very topic the other day. We garden faithfully during the Spring and Summer but never have during the Fall. Just not certain what we can grow in our area during that time of year. We just have to do some research as to what we can grow in our area.

    • Ya, it really does depend on where you live and what will grow in your climate etc. I’ll be planting spring onions for sure. I’m like you though, still learning about where I live here in Ontario and what I can grow. I am bringing in all the plants this week and cleaning out the potted plants etc.. I have lots as we love flowers. Never ending owning a home…. Cheers mate. Mr.CBB

    • John I am not sure where you live…..we are in coastal North Carolina so we have sandy soil but I have family in upstate New York that can grow the most beautiful garlic because of the cold winters their. I cannot get garlic like that to save my life here so I harvest the garlic scapes and enjoy them! My understanding is that cabbage loves it cold too although our cabbage does fine here if you beat the ants to it!

  3. mycanuckbuck says:

    Great post. Mr. Canuck Buck has booked the last week in October off and is going to start digging out a garden for me. Knowledge is so important, so we’ll be calling on my parents for all of theirs!

  4. I think I’m not mentally there for fall, but I did promise my daughter we’d try to grow some corn next summer. The thought of a whole garden overwhelms me, but maybe if we start small, we can ease into it.

    • Hmm not sure about the corn part for us… seems too stalky in our yard, but we don’t have a massive yard. Growing is not that bad… it’s the maintenance of the garden, weeding, watering.. but it’s all worth it when you take that first smell of your organic veg, then your fist bite.. ahhh… cheers mate.. thanks for dropping in Kim! Mr.CBB

    • We cannot grow corn at all! It just doesn’t like the sandy soil and its really cumbersome for pots and containers. Kim if I may suggest one of the things I did and its a fun fall activity for you and your daughter is do an herb garden on your window sill. I think I am going to do one again this year….if nothing else plant a pizza garden. Put some basil, oregano, and a sweet pepper plant to start with! :) Anyway I totally understand about being overwhelmed I work in IT for a local school system and when I am not doing that my son is a Varsity football player but I would love to hear if you ever decide to take the plunge….my friend always tells me in regards to me excercising more…baby steps Karen ;)

  5. We garden but honestly right now it’s more of a hobby than an actual money saver since a lot of our stuff seems to die…haha. We are learning though! And we both really enjoy it. I am hoping eventually the costs will even out…

    • For the most part we grow only what we would buy in the shops but you can’t compare pricing as organic in the shops cost a fortune. Start out small and build your way up but it is some work… watering is the hard part lol… Mrs.CBB always kills plants so I’m always in charge. Cheers for dropping in… awesome blog you have… babies, babies, babies…. :-) Mr.CBB

    • Great this is where this all starts figuring out what you are good at growing and what you are not. Some things just won’t grow in your area we learned that for sure. Don’t get disheartened and persevere! You guys will surprise yourselves I just know it!

  6. If I had any semblance of a green thumb I would so do a fall garden!

    • If Mrs.CBB who kills everything can grow mint, basil and tomatoes anyone can do it.. lol… the hard part like I mentioned to Newlyweds on a budget is remembering to water. Cheers for droppin in mate.. been a while .. awesome site you have! Cheers Mr.CBB

  7. Joanna Cheevers says:

    I am trying brussels sprouts this year for the first time which are harvested in the fall. I never gardened until 3 years ago when I wanted to try it with my young daughter as something we could do together and watch grow. We have enjoyed it and learned a few things over these years. I still have a ton to learn and have stuck to a small garden but we are hoping to expand a little next year. I love your advice to try different seeds and not limit yourself, my only limitation is space. Next year I plan on starting from seeds, this year I bought plants, and taking your advice on the herbs. I haven’t planted herbs before, but looking at all the posts from Mr. CBB about how easy it is and the great added flavour it adds it is definitely something we will be adding next year. I do enjoy reading your guest posts Karen and look forward to reading more of them.

  8. Christine Weadick says:

    I’ve heard that things like carrots and other root crops will be OK if you can mulch heavily over them…. I want to try to grow some salad greens inside in the plant stand, under the lights. I have catmint and lavender in the back garden, smells great and the local furballs love the cat mint!! Lol!! We have a very small yard and are at the bottom of a hill so we put in raised beds around the edges as nothing would go, even the weeds turned their noses up!! The perennials are growing great and will need to be divided next year, assuming I can find homes for the little darlings. I have collected some seeds from the annuals in the pots and hanging baskets we have to try to grow more next year. I’ll start those Feb/March or there about. Most annuals you can figure anywhere from 6-8weeks to maybe 12 weeks before the last frost date to start. The information should be on seed packages when they show up in the stores. Or check things like gardening books or websites that sell the seeds… Stokes seed is awesome for info on planting on the seed packs……Good luck…

  9. Very cool! We have a little patio garden but I’ve only grown flowers so far. I may venture into food next season. I have a friend that has grown peppers from the seeds she got out of the fruit she bought and ate from the grocery store!

    • That would be awesome if it were that easy. I need to learn more about seeds. I’m going out to the garden tomorrow to see what I can find for seeds and start getting the garden ready for winter. Thanks for dropping in FF. Cheers Mr.CBB

  10. Nice post!

    We wrote about our SFG earlier this year. I love gardening, just wish I was better at it! :)

    http://www.myownadvisor.ca/2012/07/investing-in-our-health-july-update-on-square-foot-garden/

  11. I used to love growing my own fruits, veggies and herbs.

    Since we got our dog we have been unable to grow anything as he will go and eat it the minute it starts to ripen or emit any type of odor.

    We have tried to keep him out with chicken wire and fencing but the little bugger always finds a way in while we are at work. The only thing left standing is an avocado plant which I grew from seed, it seems to be the only thing he leaves alone.

    • Same here it’s tough with the dog so we have to try and keep our dog away. You can never win, can you. You are right we should start putting our pets to work while we are gone.. even picking or digging weeds will work. LOL Mr.CBB

  12. I’ve started growing tomato plants in our greenhouse in the back garden, not only do you have money but it’s a great hobby! :)

  13. Very Cool! I;m hosting a giveaway of Heirloom Garden seeds for a Salsa Garden. Perfect timing! My own garden has seen ups and downs this year with the heat and lack of rain. The Basil did AMAZING!

  14. I love it when people come together and share thoughts.
    Great website, stick with it!

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