Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dirt Cheap Salad Fixings


Seed packets: very cheap. There are often packets of last year's seeds around that are almost as usable as this years; they're supposed to have reduced potentcy, meaning, that  a fraction of the seeds won't sprout. But they're so cheap or free that the difference makes no difference. Keep your eyes open for neighborhood "Seed Swaps"; often they left over from your last year are what someone else is looking for this year, and vice versa.
Red clay pots: They're all over, especially if you kept you eyes open throughout the year and helped out friends who were ridding themselves of excess pots.. Never buy them new; they are very inexpensive 2nd hand, often free because if they have a slight chip they don't sell even though that doesn't affect the functionality.
Space: there are all sorts of spaces begging for a row of clay pots. Next to your house, or on the edge of a sidewalk next to a wall. No-one walks that close to a wall anyway so why not put the space to use?
Dirt: Oddly enough, this is the part that cost me the most. I got a pickup truck load of nice gardening soil for $20. Your prices may vary.

Put it all together according to the seed packet direction. Pad the bottom of the pot with a little extra green and brown matter (leaves, twigs - but not pine needles; they're too acidic). Add dirt, seeds and a little water, and you're almost done.

You don't have to set up a whole lot of pots all at once. Everyone has a different schedule. I like to take a break once a day or so and set out another plant or seed another pot. This method means I'm not doing too much all at one time; I can still get my other work done, and use gardening as a fun break instead of a chore. But you must adopt the schedule that its your lifestyle.

The Payoff:
In a few short weeks, nice salad greens! Or perhaps some chard, or mint, our what-have-you. This arises with minimal effort on your part; the quality is great because you know exactly went into making the plant ... and best of all: it's dirt cheap!

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