Frugal Gardening for Busy Moms

You know me, right?  So you can laugh with me as I tell you that I’ve been asked to participate in this new weekly Gardening 101 series with Phoebe of Getting Freedom and Connie of Smockity Frocks.  What are those girls thinking?!

I’m the mom who starts to think about the garden when she hears the neighbor fire up the rototiller.

I’m the mom who had a great time planting seeds with the kids last spring, and then proceeded to dump the whole bag of carrot seeds while cleaning up.  Whoops!  Have you seen carrot seeds?  (They’re tiny.)  Let’s just say tiny carrot seeds can’t grow into big carrots when they’re all clumped together.

I’m the mom who gets all excited about planting the garden (late) but has no plan.  None at all.

I’m the mom who tried to start plants from seeds.  Once. A few stringy, spindly, weak strands of green later, I punted and visited the nearest greenhouse.

I’m the mom who grows a Mystery Plant or three every year.

I’m the mom who at 4 months pregnant last spring cried “I am gardener, hear me roar!”, at 6 month pregnant bent over to pull a few weeds, and at 8 months pregnant stayed in the air conditioning while the plants died a slow, painful death.  (Even 100° Kansas heat struggles to kill neglected zucchini.)

So.  I’m that mom and that gardener (term uttered as loosely as freshly tilled, dry dirt).  Really, I’m agreeing to this for accountability and so I can ask you for help.  😉  Want to learn with me?

So, this is it.  Our garden spot.  And when I say “our,” I mean two of my incredibly generous neighbors and our own family.  This side of the posts that used to be a fence?  Ours.  That side?  One neighbor.  The water source?  The other neighbor.  It works for us, mostly because the two of them are much too kind and knowledgeable.  And… they plant too much, so we benefit.

Clearly, we have nothing planted yet.  And clearly, I have no idea what I’m doing, although I did purchase a handy pair of gardening gloves today for a dollar.  We’ll see how long those last…

Hopefully by next week, when the first linky goes up at Getting Freedom, I’ll have something more to share than dirt.  Won’t you join us?





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  1. I’m going to take this as my ‘nudge’ to actually get some tomatoes going! We’re in an apartment, so Container Tomatoes it will be. Hmm…

  2. We finally decided containers it would have to be if I was going to get anything done (even though I live on an acre). If they’re much farther than the porch I forget to look at them 🙂 We have some cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and parsley growing (all bought as plants vs seeds) and my mom and daughter decided to plan zuchinni seeds (of course they didn’t see feel the need to plant in containers, so I have forgotten to check on them until just now. Probably need to make sure they have at least been watered….)

    • “If they’re much farther than the porch I forget to look at them” hehehe that totally sounds like something I’d say! It’s pretty hard to kill zucchini, so you should be good to go, there. 🙂

      • Funny that you say that (about the zucchini) I finally remembered to check on them today and they are actually growing!!! I was genuinely surprised 🙂

  3. I’m so with you on the pregnancy part. Last year I planted a 1/4 acre garden, even though I was due in September. Of course we had the hottest summer in years! By the time my baby was born in August most of it was covered in weeds!

  4. I can’t believe how dry your soil is already. You must be getting some nice weather….lucky 🙂 We are still very soggy here.

  5. Looking forward to sharing our gardens this season:-)

  6. Love this! We bought our house last year in the summer and threw together a small garden, but this year we’re actually attempting to do it * correctly*. I started some tomato seeds in March only to have the cats eat I’ve got one, ONE little guy still hanging on. We received our huge order from Park seed company the other here goes nothin’! Really looking forward to this series 🙂

  7. I bought some plants today to get my spring garden started. Last fall I tried raised bed gardening for the first time, and I’m a convert–no tilling, little or no weeding, I’m convinced it’s going to help me become the homesteader that I’ve always wanted to be (but am NOT, to date, showing very promising signs of being)

    • I so badly want to try that! It won’t happen this year, but maybe I can plan ahead enough to make it happen next year. Sounds perfect!

  8. Another treat for parents who want to bond with their children through gardening, check out the book Growing Up Green by Charles E. Majuri

  9. I am a totally novice gardener, but I’d be happy to share what little I know. For starters, you’ll have to remind us where you live – obviously the planting schedule for Phoenix is a little different than Boston! I live in SW Missouri and I am just now planting peas, lettuce, and green beans (from seed). In mid-May I will plant some tomato plants (I’ve never tried from seed but I’m sure it’s doable). My garden is really small – just a 4’x8′ raised bed, but it’s what I can manage for now.

    • I would love to try raised bed gardening sometime. I hear it is awesome! We live in south central Kansas, so we probably have about the same “weather schedule” you do!

      • Sweet Melissa says:

        my friend has hers all planned out for this year…she got a plan from a magazine. can’t remember exactly something mother earthy.
        just imagine the back aches it would prevent!

  10. Wow your space is huge!! Our garden space is still bogged down in rain and weeds. I guess I better get cracking.

  11. Stop by my blog:
    I awarded you the stylish blogger award 🙂

    ~ Nikki

  12. Amanda Y. says:

    I’ve had pretty good success with expensive gardening (growing in potting soil in pots due to poor soil and sunlight here) and starting from seedlings instead of seed. I am starting a few more things from seed and we do use rain barrel water, and this year, my plan hasn’t changed much. I try to help myself feel better by knowing that if it grows, it’s still cheaper than buying organic veggies all summer, so best of luck to all of us!

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