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.

New Gardener Birthday Present: Vegtrug

I have been walking somewhere between Cloud Nine and 27 all day – I found out last night that I’m getting a Vegtrug for my birthday, and I’m stoked!

I should explain. I found out ‘cuz my Far Better Half told me, not because I overheard something I shouldn’t. Besides, I’m past the age where surprises are what get me through the year. In fact, I’d rather not be surprised.

So, without further ado… *drumroll* The Vegtrug!

Vegtrug™ Patio Garden with Covers

Vegtrug Patio Garden with Covers

Soon to be MY Vegtrug!

This set includes the Vegtrug Patio Garden, the Vegtrug Frame & Greenhouse Cover and the Vegtrug Insect Cover. The Vegtrug Patio Garden lets you garden at an easy working height; no bending or kneeling to plant, tend and harvest. Elevated bed means no weeds and fewer pests, too. The V-shape makes efficient use of space and planting mix – grow deep-rooted plants like tomatoes in the center, shallow-rooted crops along the edges. Includes a fitted fabric liner to keep soil contained while letting excess water drain. Plastic feet protect wood from wet surfaces. Easy assembly.

Why I’m Cheering for a Vegtrug

Ok, I see I’m the one doing a lot of the jumping up and down for glee, so I’ll explain why I’m so completely thrilled. For the most part, my gardening is happening indoors (see various mentions of containers, lack of bees, indoor gardening challenges).

The Vegtrug will mean that I can garden outdoors without having to worry about bending over and kneeling, neither of which I can do with any reliability.

  • I’ll be able to plant without falling on the ground.
  • I’ll be able to water without filling up a dozen juice bottles and milk jugs each day.
  • I’ll be able to weed without spending the next day begging for painkillers.
  • I’ll be able to harvest without worrying about spreading dirt all over the dining room.

In short, the Vegtrug answers all those pesky questions that come up with bad backs, arthritis and age in general.

Sheer heaven! Yes, I’m dancing a bit. I’m definitely looking forward to this year’s annibirthday! (We celebrate both our birthdays and our anniversary at the same time.)