Garden on the Cheap

In the last couple of months living at my place, I wanted to add a garden to a spot that was just a bare, weedy scorched piece of earth. But, I also wanted to do it cheap since we weren’t going to be living there much longer. So, I wracked my brain for some easy things to do. The biggest cost was the labor-but since it was just me, it only cost me time.

The first thing to do was to get rid of all of the weeds and crabgrass. That is no small task. Crabgrass is very good at rooting itself in hard ground. It was no small feat. We will fast forward through the swears and sweat, to a clear dirt bed. This is what I put into it:

Steer manure $.97
Garden soil bale $7.50
Marble chips $3.50
Aptenia FREE

Less than $12 for a beautiful starter garden!!

I put the manure on first, then watered. The ground beneath it is very malnutritioned in regards to minerals and such, so spreading the manure on the bottom helps the present soil while adding a strong base for the other soil. I put the whole soil bale on top, even though it was more that what was needed to cover it. I wanted to have a kind of raised garden in terms of soil. Something that plants could be put into rather than the hard and uncooperative soil below.

I like to propagate new plants from old ones, and I have learned that Aptenia, or Ice Plants, are very hardy and great to do this with, as well as jade and aloe. A note though, jade is more of a container plant, it likes small spaces so it doesn’t do too well in open ground. Stick to the other two for a garden like this.

The aloe in the aloe-only bed had started to become so overgrown it was choking itself brown. So I dug and separated several stems and replanted them in the new garden. Now they have all gone back to being green as could be! I placed the marble chips in a little pathway kind of pattern to give it a little visual oomph. It’s too small to actually walk around in it, but the white against the black soil really makes it pop. I like it, at least.

I was pleased as punch that I was able to create a little space of life where there was nothing before. I can’t wait to create another – with VEGGIES!- in my new place!!


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