Free, Easy Ways to Get Started With Gardening

When I was in San Antonio a few weeks ago, I visited their botanical gardens and, I admit, caught the gardening bug.

(Yes, it surprised me as well.)

Before I knew it, I was leaving with a bag full of seeds, and plans to create my own salsa garden. I’m excited — and I hope to actually follow through.

But imagine the possibilities. Imagine a world where you won’t need the supermarket this summer, you’ll just hit your backyard veggie garden. Once the threat of frost is over, it’s time to get planting! Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can grow food with the help of these free gardening resources.
Free Seeds – Need free seeds to get your garden going? There are several organizations handing out freebies to help get growers started. Check out DinnerGarden.org, an organization fighting to end hunger in the US through community gardens. The website maintains a list of locations handing out free seeds around the country and you may also be able to request the seeds by mail.
Free Garden Layouts and Planning Sheets – Gardeners of all skill levels will likely find helpful free resources at vegetable-gardening-online.com. Download free garden plans based on the plants you want to grow and your available space.
Free Kids Gardening Catalog – Parents can get help involving their children with vegetable gardening. Request a free Gardening with Kids catalog from the National Gardening Association. This is dirty work they may actually enjoy!
Free Urban Farm Magazine – Get inspiration and information from Urban Farm magazine. Its focus is on sustainable city living. While an annual subscription will set you back $15 you can virtually flip through the current issue at UrbanFarmOnline.com.
Free Soil Testing – Soil testing is important because it will let you know whether you’ve got a good foundation for seeds and seedlings. Check with your state’s agriculture department to see if they offer free soil testing. For instance, in North Carolina free soil testing supplies can be picked up at any Cooperative Extension office.
Free Composting Guide – Compost adds rich nutrients to your garden soil, but it’s also good for the planet. Get some help starting one at EarthEasy.com. You won’t need any fancy equipment to get going and according to the US EPA, yard trimmings and food waste make up more than a fourth of the municipal solid waste stream. Instead of trashing that stuff, use it to make free compost for your garden.



2 Responses to “Free, Easy Ways to Get Started With Gardening”

  1. 1 Amy
    March 28, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    I love this post! It is so near and dear to my heart…and stomach!

  2. April 5, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Use raised beds to grow your own healthy vegetables.

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