Garden Growing Guide: How To Prepare Your Garden

If you are a newbie to gardening and hesitant about how to prepare your garden, then worry no more. I’m here to ease a bit of the worry you may have and build your gardening confidence through practice so you too can join the masses who get out and grow each season. This garden growing guide comes from years of experience and my passion for the outdoors which should help guide you in the right direction. If you have an inherent green thumb or simply want to experiment the time is here to put your gardening plans in motion. Begin the process by figuring out how and where you will plant your vegetable garden this spring. If you are planting a garden to grow your own food for the first time I’d recommend starting off small, get your feet wet before you jump right in. Building up gardening experience over time will lead to a more rewarding experience. How To Start A Garden The first step before even deciding what you are going to grow in the garden should be picking a good location. In an earlier post I talked about growing a garden in a small space if you didn’t have […]

Growing A Garden In A Small Space

This is the year that I am finally going to grow my own garden and you can too, even if you have a small space to work with! My kids are at the ages now where I can spend more time working outside which is a passion of mine. Unfortunately, my property is not quite ready for my garden, so most of my gardening will have to be based around containers and hanging baskets. While thinking about what I’m going to grow, I also have to consider where I am going to grow them! Over the years, I have seen many innovative and creative ways that you can grow a flourishing garden without digging a hole in the ground. These ideas got me thinking about how they could be used to grow a garden in a small space. I’ve lost count a long time ago how many times I’ve heard, ‘I don’t have the space for a garden’, or ‘I live in an apartment, I can’t grow a garden’. With the exception of individuals who have balconies that get absolutely no sunlight, this is not true! Adopting the ideas of going vertical, and hanging plants such as tomatoes and strawberries can turn that […]

Starting Our Frugal Garden From Seed

Gardening for some is a passion and for others just another chore. For me, enjoyment of watching something grow, mature and flower is fascinating. Plants don’t all have to be about huge flowers, they can be the focus or the backdrop or just plain useful. Every year we grow our own food in the garden, though I’ll be the first to admit we couldn’t live off the land we have, it’s more of a novelty thing. There are advantages other than cost to growing your own, the flavours are far superior and the knowledge that you didn’t spray everything in sight with chemicals. I can remember when I was growing up in England that quite a lot of people had apple trees in their back gardens the obligatory rhubarb patch as well as a sprinkling of gooseberry bushes, damson trees and in rough open space you could find blackberries by the thousand. Coming home from school at a young age we would often scoff free damsons off some old ladies tree. I do believe it was called “scrumping”, though that term is more synonymous with stealing apples off a tree. I’m sure growing up in an area that was dominated by old Victorian houses helped as it provided […]

Turning Leaves Into Compost- Where There’s Muck There’s Brass

It’s that time of year again….the leaves have already turned colour and a there’s a good splattering over most people’s lawns that have already fallen. So is now the time to save some money? Sure it is and here’s what I do to save me some money come spring. WHAT DO I DO TO SAVE ME MONEY? Every year I collect up the leaves from the trees in plastic bags, wet them and tie them up with a couple of holes punched in the sides. I personally store them to over winter down the side of the house (mainly because my compost heap is already full), you could start compost heap number 2 if you like depending on the size of your garden. In the spring I’ll empty out roughly two-thirds of the compost bin for use around the garden/pots/baskets and then re-fill with the leaves from the bags interspersed with other roughage. The half rotten mixture will take no time at all to rot down once the weather warms up. WHY I BAG MY LEAVES? The main reason I don’t throw the leaves away in brown yard waste bags is the amount of nutrients they’ll add back into the garden for […]

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 […]

SOW, GROW AND SAVE

SOW, GROW AND SAVE After checking the prices in the produce aisle, how many times have you plopped some cherry tomatoes or asparagus into your shopping cart with a resigned look ala Mary Richards in the opening credits montage of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. What’s a person to do?  Resist artichokes?  Swear off broccoli and stock up on mac-n-cheese mix from the box? How about some good old-fashioned “if you can’t beat, ‘em join ‘em” action and start planting your own vegetables and fruits?  Yes, you can save money by growing your own food, whether you have a few container plants on the balcony or a nice sized garden in the back or front yard. The amount you save depends on how much you plant, your initial and ongoing investment in the garden, and how you use what you harvest.   If you want to save significant amounts of money and you have the space, plant seeds and go big. Otherwise, even with conservative efforts, by growing your own organic vegetables and fruits you can save on grocery store costs and reap other benefits as well.   You’ll contribute positively to the environment and your health by avoiding produce that’s been treated […]

Landscaping On A Budget In Canadian Soil- The Series Part 1

Get Ready To Landscape Your Dream Home Now that spring has sprung many people are anxious to get outside to start on their landscape projects. However, for many the mere thought of doing landscaping can lead to sleepless nights and visions of empty bank accounts. Over the years I have worked with many clients who have fallen into this category, they want to bring their yard to life but they are worried about the costs associated with undertaking the project. In many cases they are first time homeowners who have never landscaped before and have heard stories from friends and family of how much their backyard retreats have cost. They also may have simply wandered into a garden centre only to have been overwhelmed by names and price tags. On top of that, many folks today are both budget conscious and “green” conscious and want to bring both of these items to the table when beautifying their property. Landscape design: The plan As a landscape designer the first thing I ask my clients is about their budget – right away you need to know how much you want to spend on the project initially and long-term. Let me explain, when you undertake […]