Twenty Dollar Recession Garden challenge

It’s a proven fact that gardening is more popular than ever this year and the world’s economy is playing a big part in this event. With many people loosing their jobs or afraid they might the popular hobby of gardening is returning full force. Many of you will be having gardens for the first time and there is much to learns and items will need to be purchased.d1

Creative Commons License photo credit: inspector_81
With this in mind I decided to try and start a garden for Twenty dollars. There is a movement called Recession Gardening to promote organic gardening and for as many people to raise produce as possible. I have been gardening for many years but decided to look at this as if it’s my first year and attempt to buy all my supplies for twenty dollars. Since I know gardening cost shortcuts I will be sharing these as we go along.

Garden Space

First you need to decide how much space you have available for a garden and what your favorite or most used vegetables and fruits will be. Corn tomatoes peppers beans cucumbers, lettuce potatoes onions cabbage and beets are a few of the most popular vegetables. Melons, strawberries and blueberries are favorite garden fruits.

Cost saving gardening ideas

Next look for deals. I read that out local garden center have seeds on sale for 20 cents a packet. So I decided what I wanted in the garden this year and went down and selected five dollars worth of seeds. ( I grow a lot of leaf lettuce so need to plant lettuce every two weeks)There are a few more seeds I want but I will wait to see what my friends are buying and trade a few seeds with them. If I buy one packet of winter squash I do not need to plant the entire packet so trading seeds makes more sense. Wal-Mart usually has seeds for twenty cents a packet too.

Seeds can be one of your most expensive costs in a garden along with buying plants and tools for the garden. You may also need to have your garden tilled or buy gardening tools. I find most of my gardening tools at garage sales or at auctions for one to two dollars apiece. If you have not gardened before you will want a hoe or spade and a rake and a small hand spade. Check at garage sales for these tools.

Additional gardening  supplies you may need:

  • String
  • boards
  • stakes
  • plant markers
  • soil
  • compost
  • fertilizer
  • mulch
  • insect control spray –organic of course!
  • Water hose or rain barrel
  • plastic jugs, plant ties and  pantyhose

As you go along you may find you want something more but the goal is to keep your garden around twenty dollars in cost.

During the summer I will be sharing this project and its results and I offer you the challenge of following me and sending in tips and photos. There will be winners at the end of the gardening season.

But the real reason for doing this is to help the economy, the community and to raise healthy food.

Recession Garden tips:

  • For newer gardeners: If this is your first or second gardening experience buy your tomato and pepper plants. They are a little harder to start than some seeds. I would buy the larger individual plants for about 50 cents a piece.
  • Grow at least one thing for fun. A garden should be fun so experiment. And grow a few flowers. It just adds to the fun.
  • If possible garden with a family member or friend and share the produce. And if you have too much of one crop, give it to a food bank if you have one in your community
  • You don’t have a lot of space? You can still have a garden. Just use containers, windowsills and any extra space available.

Next I will share what seed I have bought and what I am looking to share with another gardener.

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9 responses to “Twenty Dollar Recession Garden challenge”

  1. Sam

    Just the information I have been looking for in gardening because this year I will start a garden for fun and to enjoy my favorite foods. I would like to grow herbs that I can use in summer salads and dishes. Great gardening tips for us beginners. Thanks!


  2. We try to use things we would normally throw away. This year I have used gallon milk jugs to make hot caps and plant stakes, and am using egg cartons as starter trays.

    Mary Walker’s last blog post..

  3. Keep checking back Sam as I plan to cover every step needed to make a successful garden at as reasonable price as possible plus cover planting tips and types of vegetables, fruits and herbs.

    If there is a particular herb you want information on I will find it for you. Herbs are very easy to grow too. Thanks for stopping by, Denise

    Denise’s last blog post..Twenty Dollar Recession Garden challenge

  4. Hi Mary,

    Milk jugs are one of my favorite garden tools. I use them for covering plants at night for protection, starting plants, hot houses, heating the greenhouse and plant markers.

    I tried using egg cartons one year and it wasn’t as successful as I had hoped. Let me know how it works for you. Toilet paper rolls work quite well too. Thanks for stopping in! Denise

  5. […] consider you own recession garden or join in a community garden near where you live. Check out the $20 Recession Garden challenge for additional […]

  6. michael

    the economic recession made a lot of workers jobless. my best friend and me lost our jobs because of job cuts. i hope that our economy would recover soon.

  7. Lisa

    I began gardening this year as well. To begin with money was not an issue so I built raised beds and purchased soil for the beds. wanting to grow more, I am looking to expand so that I can eat fresh daily plus store for the winter. Saying that i also want to be more organic and sustainable. I was very glad to learn about layer gardening a.k.a. lasagna layering and have started 3 beds that way so far. About 6 weeks into the process the layer beds are proving to out-shine the traditional beds….any the layer beds were free to start!

  8. The Big Kahuna

    Hey sweety, every time I am doing something in the garden it dawns on me that I learned it from you. My brother and I are going to increase the size of the garden this year, and also plant some fruit trees.

    Just one question. My blueberries grow wonderful till mid june, then collaps and die. Any suggestions?

  9. Denise

    Did you check the soil for nitrogen? Sound like a soil deficiency. How many plants do you have? How did you plant the blueberries? In a group or single row? Raised bed or in the ground?

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