Frugal Gardening Despite All Odds and Inclinations

baking the old soil

“What’s for dinner, honey?” “Oh, a roast of recycled squash soil and vermiculite. Want a salad with that?”

I write elaborate shopping lists, then do my best to be frugal by striking items off one by one, identifying what can be done to replace each. What’s left is a list that contains nothing but the essentials, and each item that remains is something I’ve carefully thought through.

Frugal Delay Tactics

Right now I need to repot a few cramped little plants, set in a few more seeds, including a restart on the squash. But I’ve been avoiding this for weeks – first it was too hot, then I was too tired. Now I’m too impatient, knowing that within a month I’ll have a VegTrug. But the plants don’t care that I’m impatient, and they want to get started now if there’s any hope of being harvested for dinner in a few months.

Frugal Potting Soil Make-Your-Own

  • a bag of peat moss
  • a bag of coarse builder’s sand
  • a bag or stack of garden loam or compost
  • a large scoop (will be used to measure a “part”) – plastic juice jug, bottom and sides cut off
  • a bin to mix in – old potting soil bags – I save them because they reseal
  • garden gloves – struck from list when I found my left glove. I’m golden now.

I’m also salvaging the potting soil from the dear departed indoor yellow squash, whose heritage lives on in the Bunny Buffet. I harvested the last squash and uprooted the rest early this morning. Its leaves had been drooping and looking generally unhealthy. Better to feed the bunnies than continue to cajole this back to life.

Frugal Planting Decisions

Here comes the dilemma. Do I pot the seeds now and hope they are up by the time the VegTrug arrives, or do I wait for it to arrive so I can see the layout in person?

Or do I scratch using seeds altogether and hie down to the big box garden center and pick up real plants that are used to being outside?

Frugal Bottom Line

This will be the biggest single gardening acquisition of my gardening career (which started in March, so don’t be too impressed). I am agonizing over what it’ll take to do it right, properly, productively and frugally. I should be banned from the local garden center-slash-hardware store – at least until I calm down and see this VegTrug in person.