Gardening Vivian | 25 Dec 2010 04:52 am

How Square Foot Gardening Can Save You Money

When you go to the nursery it’s all well and fine to buy your own seedlings and plant them in your garden. But wouldn’t it be easier, and cheaper, if you could learn how to do this yourself without having to go to the nursery in the first place?

Seed gardening is easy, rewarding and will certainly save you money. This is where the techniques of square foot Gardening really come to the fore, as you can garden in a limited space to grow and raise your seedlings in a small box, before planting them out. Here’s how to do it.

First you will need to buy or make a container approximately 1 foot square. You can use timber if you wish, or you can use an old fruit box you have lying around or even a polystyrene box will do. Next you need to purchase some seed raising mixture. This is especially nurturing sandy based soil which will allow you to easily grow from seeds. The second step is to have the seas themselves! You can get these from a nursery in packets or you can harvest them yourself from other vegetables that have gone to seed in your garden.

Gently tamp down the soil to make sure it is not to loose. The tiny seedlings need a fairly tight space for the roots to latch onto that is why making the soil reasonably compact is a vital first step. Just think like a seed! Now you can scatter the seeds over the surface of this prepared bed then lightly sprinkle a layer of potting soil over the top of the seeds, then water everything in.

The seed trays can now be placed where ever you like, usually in a protected area a little bit of sun and even light. The important thing is to keep them well watered at least to keep the soil moist as this encourages the seeds to grow even better.

Depending upon the seeds you have sewn you may find that once they have begun to sprout they are quite tightly spaced. Do not be concerned at this point because you can thin them out after they are fully grown as you plant them. This will not always occur but with larger plants like lettuces it is more common than with, say, carrots.

Once your first seed tray is alive with new plants you can think back and price each one that you see with the nursery price, and that is how much you have saved. You will find that one seed tray which has cost you may be four or five dollars, will have around 30 or 40 seedlings which you would have paid three or four dollars each. That means one tray can save you close to $100.

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