Plan Your Garden During the January Money Diet

Plan your garden during the January Money Diet

This time of year, I love to start thinking about seeds and plants and getting my hands in the dirt.

Do you enjoy daydreaming about your future garden, too? The month of January is the perfect time to begin making plans and sketching out ideas for your ideal plot, especially if you’re on a money diet.

In the Day #3 post  (“Let’s Eat Really Great Food“), I enjoyed reading comments from a number of you who grow your own food and preserve it so you can enjoy it all year. What a wonderful way to eat well and save money. We do this on a small scale, growing and freezing produce like tomatoes, strawberries, cherries, basil for pesto, and pumpkins. I’d love to try cultivating some new fruits and veggies this year.

Grow a Garden in Any Space

If you live in an apartment, you might be able to choose plants that thrive in your climate and can be grown in containers. Our friend Jerry grows cherry tomatoes year ’round from a pot in a sunny window in his downtown Denver apartment.

Do you have access to a roof or balcony? The Kitchn posted an informative article on rooftop gardening.

If you have a small yard or garden plot, you may enjoy the “Square Foot Gardening” method to maximize your yield from a small space.

If you have a typical yard, you might be inspired by the Urban Homestead website. This family grows 3 tons of food on 1/10th of an acre!

If you don’t have a yard but long to really dig in the dirt, you might check out the community gardens in your area. The American Community Gardening Association has a nifty interactive map to help you find one near you.

Time to Daydream

It’s always fun to peruse the new seed catalogs and online offerings each year to see what new varieties have been introduced. These are some of my favorite seed companies:

The site MicroEcoFarming.com has a wealth of information about growing your own food — including tips for how to sell what you grow as an extra revenue source.

You might also enjoy the Happy Simple Gardening Pinterest board, where I collect low-labor ideas for growing good food and flowers, along with whimsical posts and photos from others who have created imaginative landscapes.

How About You?

Would you like to start planning your garden? Check out some gardening sites, sketch out ideas, and make a list of the seed varieties you want to plant this year. If you don’t have a garden, daydream about what you’d like to grow someday. Leave a comment on this page if you participate in this challenge.

We’d especially love to hear about any edible varieties you’ve grown successfully in the past. If you have favorite gardening sites and sources, we’d love to hear about those, too.

Enjoy the weekend, and you’ll hear from me again on Monday.

Happy daydreaming,

The signature for Eliza Cross

P.S. Congratulations to Deborah, who won a copy of the book “Your Money or Your Life” for completing Challenge #2 and figuring her net worth. Watch for more giveaways this month.

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

6 comments to Plan Your Garden During the January Money Diet

  • Colette

    We have a fairly short growing season in central B.C. We live in town but there are tall spruce trees all around the property in various places. Our huge raspberry patch in the back yard is amazing and I can grow some small things like lettuce, but sunshine is limited. After reading about “growing food not lawn” articles, I am planning to plant vegetables in the front yard this spring where there is more sun throughout the day. I’d like to do this tastefully and on a smaller scale at first. Perhaps a few raised beds?

  • I’ve been waiting for this part of the diet- I love thinking about the garden in January.
    Because we get much of our produce from a CSA, we tend to have lots of most items. This year I’m going to be more strategic about what I grow in or 2 SFGs. I never have enough basil (thinking pesto, here!), Roma tomatoes (my favorites to can), or lettuce and spinach. And maybe snap peas, because I love them so.

  • Betty

    We have a large garden every summer. We grow green beans, sweet peas, zucchini, green peppers, hot peppers, cucumbers, acorn squash, pumpkins, corn, tomatoes, broccoli. We also have grapes and raspberries. We freeze most of the vegetables, can the tomatoes and make salsa and relish and can that. We make jam and wine from the grapes and raspberries. We also grow rhubarb which we use for pie in the summer and freeze to make wine in the other seasons. My husband grew up on a farm and therefore has a good history for how to grow crops, rotating them year to year, etc. We nearly always have good crops which we share with our children and our neighbors. We live on a small lot in the city and have a cabin on 5 acres along a river which gives us a lot of room to grow crops. There is only the 2 of us at home now, we are both retired and really enjoy our time in the garden.

  • Kimberly

    I can’t wait to start my garden. I can,dehydrate, and freeze.Started my graft and looking at seed books for a few new veggies to plant. I save seed but have not had the best of luck with getting them started. I am not giving up, going to try again this year.

  • Susan Trimble

    Forgot the cucumbers.

  • Susan Trimble

    We have a small garden every year. We grow tomatoes, cantalope, squash, onions, and okra. It really is a big help. I don’t can anything, but there is always enough to share. Hope you have a good weekend.

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