My 6 Secrets For Keeping A Healthy Veg Plot

veg_plot_tipsEver since I retired in Somerset, England, I spent most of my retirement caring for my vegetable garden.

I have loved gardening since I was young, but while I worked in the city as a mechanic, I never had the time or the space for a real veg plot.

Instead, I kept a little herb garden by my kitchen window that my wife would occasionally pick from when seasoning some dishes.

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Saving (or Making) Extra Money with Gardening

What people don’t realise is that there is a potential for additional income when it comes to gardening. To some people it might just be a hobby, or a pass time.

And I do agree—I was of this opinion for a while. But to me now, it is that and more.

I love planting and cultivating seeds until I’ve got a few healthy crops. Let me tell you this right now—my hard work wasn’t for nothing.

The hours I spent working in my garden enjoying myself and the therapeutic gardening does pay. It wasn’t enough to be a full time job before, but now it has practically replaced my full time income since I’ve retired from my former job.

I’ve saved and made extra money with gardening in the past—here’s how.

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Grow Your Own Ingredients
I do enjoy cooking once in a while, but that is something that is truly best left to my wife, who knows better. But we save a lot of money at the grocery store and at the farmer’s market because instead of buying ingredients, we just use our own organically grown food.

Saved us a ton of money so far!

I’ve added the below video as it is the first in a series about growing your own veg which I found really informative and helpful when i first started out.

And you don’t have to use the produce strictly for cooking—I’ve got a friend who grows his own ingredients for dog food that he makes for his pets (spoiled pets!).

 

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Sell Your Produce

The quickest way to make money is by selling things. My wife and I have more than once sold our produce at the farmer’s market. On the weekends it’s a great little boost to income.

If you have too little to sell at the market, do as we used to. We sold produce to our neighbors who were interested.

For a charitable act, donate some ingredients to shelters and soup kitchens. They could sure use it.

article-1356937-0D2BF544000005DC-892_638x335Decorate with Your Flowers

If you regularly spend money to buy flowers to decorate your home with, forget about it! Save the cash and use the flowers you grow to decorate instead.

This can already greatly help you to save up, since you save the money you’d normally spend. Every little bit helps.

Sell Your Flowers

If you don’t have any use for the flowers you grow in your garden (not a fan of decorating with flowers? Me neither. But the wife likes it), you could always just sell them.

I’ve also done this in the past, I approached some florists to offer my flowers.

The worst case scenario would be they say no. But if they say yes I immediately make money!

My wife and I started making more money when we decided it would be a good idea to learn simple flower arranging. Once we knew how, we arranged some into bouquets and centerpieces, then sold them at the farmer’s market along with our produce. There are loads of How To videos on YouTube for flower arranging.

You can find out about farmers markets in your area on this website http://www.localfoods.org.uk.

It’s really great income on our off time—it’s been enough that we were able to have my wife cut down on her hours. Gardening can be a great supplemental income!

My 30 Minute Unique Planter Ideas

I once kept a herb garden by my window, and I remember that even though it was just a tiny window planter, I was incredibly proud of it.

When I moved to Somerset, I decided that even though I now have a beautiful garden, I still want to fill up every window sill with beautiful plants.

In fact, while I keep most of my vegetables in the garden, I still keep my smaller plants like my herbs in beautiful planters.

However, I did not want to use just any old planter — I wanted to go with something fun and unique.

Since I was a mechanic, I am also quite skilled at various DIY projects, because I have a very logical brain. In fact, my first planters were made from re-purposed warehouse shelving, converting the pallets into stacked vegetable planters.

Here are a few more tips I came across while researching about it online on DIY forums.

Mini-Planters-on-FenceFence Planters

This is one of the easiest planter ideas I came across. Simply purchase some plastic pots, and if you have a wooden fence, simply nail them onto your fence.

This is a great space saving measure and is perfect for small, lightweight plants. You can even paint the planters to make them look especially beautiful.

Boot Planters

I have tonnes of old rain boots that I have lying around. My children have a few old ones that they have outgrown, so instead of throwing them away, I simply punched a few holes into the bottom to allow water to leak out, and filled the boots up with soil.

Like the fence planters, you can nail this up on the fence or on a wall.

Tire Planters

This is actually pretty common sight. If you have old tires or know where to get them, you can turn them on their side and turn them into tiny gardens.

You can also paint these tires to make them look more colorful, though the tire tread already gives it an interesting pattern.

Colander Planters

Colanders already look like flower pots because they already have holes to drain from. Take a rusty old colander that is not suitable for food any more, and repaint them to turn them into flower pots.

Check this video out for further tips (not mine)

Picture Frame Planter

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Get an old picture frame and add a tray on one side to create a herb planter.

If you want a vertical hanging planter, add a chicken wire mesh over the top and hang it vertically.

Certain plants, such as various succulents, can easily survive in a vertical surface with very little watering required.

 Muffin Tin Planters

Perfect for small herbs and other plants, the muffin tin planter is a great idea for when you want a miniature garden right there on top of your table.

You can plant a different one in each tin, and keep it anywhere inside the house.

Even if you do not have a lot of space, beautiful planters can be made out of anything if you are creative.