When I started working with my Uncle Bob last summer, I assumed that construction would be an easy, fun way to make a few extra bucks. However, I quickly discovered that construction work was serious business, filled with risks, difficulty, and rewards. After almost being creamed by a few backhoe booms, I learned how to stay out of the way. However, staying safe around heavy machinery isn't always easy to do. My blog talks about how to use machinery properly and what you need to do to stay safe so that you can return home to your family each and every day.
Perhaps you've been admiring a neighbor's garden or you enjoy looking at photos of lush garden vegetables in popular magazines. You may wonder if you have what it takes to start your own garden. And you may wonder if it's really cheaper than picking up some produce at the store or local farmer's market.
Before you rush off to your local garden center to buy your gardening tools, you may want to ask yourself a few questions.
Do I have adequate space for a garden?
Regardless of how small your living space is, you probably have enough room to start a garden. It doesn't require huge amounts of space to grow plants. If your yard is small, you may want to consider raised-bed gardening. Raised beds can be constructed in any size, and you will be surprised at how much stuff you can grow in a small space.
If you don't want to take up the space in your yard for a garden, you should consider patio gardening. Most garden centers carry vegetable plants grown specifically for containers. Nearly every vegetable can be successfully grown in a pot with good drainage and adequate sunlight.
Is gardening in my budget?
You may think gardening is a great way to save money on produce, and that can be true in some cases. However, starting a garden involves a moderate amount of expense. Whether you plan to garden on your patio in containers or plow up a garden plot in the backyard, you're going to have to invest some money in start-up costs.
Starting a backyard garden requires special equipment. You will need a garden plow and tiller to prepare the ground for planting. These can come with a fairly hefty price tag.
A good option for saving money is to contact a garden rental company and rent a plow and tiller in the spring when it's time to prepare the garden for planting.
You will need some basic equipment such as shovels, hoes, and rakes to maintain your garden and keep it free from weeds.
You may also need to purchase a fence if you live in an area where animals are a threat to your garden. Nobody wants to put time and money into growing a nice garden to come home one day and find their garden has been devoured by wildlife.
Fencing costs can be rather high. You will need a good quality fence to act as a barrier to large animals such as deer. However, once you invest in a sturdy fence, it will require very little maintenance to upkeep in the coming years.
While cheaper, patio gardening can still involve substantial costs. Large pots will require greater amounts of good quality potting soil to fill them for planting. You should consider investing in durable pots that will hold up in extreme weather conditions. Cheaper pots that crack or break and need to be replaced yearly will cost you more in the long term.
Am I willing to commit my time to gardening?
Those lush gardens you envy are probably maintained by gardeners that spend a lot of time working with their plants. Gardens require maintenance on a regular basis. Most gardeners spend some time every day pulling weeds, watering plants, and checking the health of their plants.
Growing your own vegetables is not always cheaper than purchasing them at the local farmer's market. However, most people find gardening enjoyable and well worth the cost and time required to create a bountiful garden harvest.