Planting an Urban Garden: Frugal or a Hobby?

Brent Pittman —  04/24/2012

I hope our urban garden will save us money with fresh produce.

This year with a bit of our tax money, we’ll going to invest in a small urban garden. Our premise is that it will save us a lot of money on basic vegetables and herbs that we buy almost weekly. Are we being frugal or just fooling ourselves into another hobby?

An Urban Gardening Experiment

1) Will our urban garden make a profit or will it turn out to be a hobby? We’ll have to invest a bit into seeds, dirt, material, etc. to get the balcony garden going. We’ll also have to add a bit of money occasionally for maintenance.

2) This will be an experiment of sheer gardening will. Can we make it grow? I’m pretty much a city slicker and worked in my grandparent’s garden in the summer as a kid. My wife grew up on a ranch, so she’s been around gardening a bit too. Recently, we don’t have much experience besides an occasional house plant.

How to Begin an Urban Vegetable Garden

What to grow? We’ll start small and begin with plants that are easy and that we use on a regular basis. In consideration for our herb garden are basic herbs like mint, basil, oregano, and parsley.

Possible candidates for our vegetable garden are things we use a lot of: sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, green beans, brussel sprouts, squash, and peppers. Any other ideas?  

Our space is limited as the garden will be on our balcony. Also, the plants can’t be seen from the street, so they’ll have to be short–No corn stalks!

Supplies. We’re going this week to get our starter plants and supplies. I really have no idea what to get beyond dirt and seeds. My wife wants to start composting, so we’ll get a good airtight bucket for that.

I’ll have an occasional post and pictures about our urban gardening experiment and hopefully how it is saving us a ton of money. If there is a bumper crop, we hope to do a bit of canning also.

Any urban gardeners out there? Please feel free to give your tips or opinions on gardening.

Photo Credit:  gail m tang (Creative Commons)

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Brent is a financial coach and writer looking for the perfect donut. He believes personal finance should be both fun and accessible to anyone willing to learn.