Planting the seed

Hello, everyone! So, as I said in the beginning, this blog will focus on college budget gardening and how easy it is to manage. Most students, or people in general, are lost as to where to begin. Well, you’re not the only one and I was on the same boat. Hopefully I can guide in you in the right direction and make the path easier.

Basil sunlight garden

Photo Credit: Danielle Martinez

For starters, decide on indoor or outdoor plants. This will determine what kind of plants you will grow. Like most of you, roommates are another factor to consider. Don’t forget to ask them their opinion on the location of your plants. A few things to remember while you are deciding on indoor or outdoor: plants need water, sunlight, air circulation, and space. With that being said, determine spots in or around your house that are exposed to sunlight for hours at a time. However, there are plants that you can have that may not need sunlight exposure.

Pictured to the left: potted Basil plant near edge of balcony for direct sunlight.

I recommend the following basic tools: trowel, cultivator, pruning shears, gardening gloves. These tools range in price, but I have found these tools on Amazon starting at

cultivator, pruning shear, trowel, hand rake, gardening, container gardening

Basic Tools – Photo Courtesy of Danielle Martinez

$3. If growing from seedling, I suggest buying window boxes to plant seedlings. Germination kits are available for a higher cost, though it is not required. I have also used small clay pots that come in a package of 6 at Hobby Lobby for $3.99 for germinating seeds. When the plants begin to sprout, larger pots will be needed for a transplant. Honestly, now is a good time to buy planters because winter items are being put on the shelves. I have learned: bigger pot = bigger plants! However, don’t put a small plant in a huge planter because that will not allow the plant to breath.

Window box, window planter, seedlings, gardening, container gardening

Small window boxes – Photo courtesy of Danielle Martinez

Remember this can be as expensive as you permit. If you are on a strict budget, then perhaps start out with only a few planted seeds. Not all of them will grow perfectly, so in turn you may only have 1 or 2 healthy plants. Don’t forget the soil! For container gardening, you will need potting mix. At my local garden shop, Garden-ville, potting mix is sold for $6.49 per 28 Liter bag. Potting Mix has all the essential ingredients needed for plants to grow in. If money permits, I suggest buying a starter fertilizer. At Garden-Ville their starter fertilizer is called Rocket Fuel and it works wonderfully! It is also great for transplanting to keep the plants healthy after the transfer.

Rocket Fuel, starter fertilizer, gardening

Rocket Fuel – Photo courtesy of Danielle Martinez

To wrap things up, here’s a list of things you will need to start your wonderful garden:

  • potting mix
  • small containers/window boxes/germination kits
  • Cultivator
  • Trowel
  • Shear
  • Gardening Gloves
  • Planters
  • Starter Fertilizer (preferrable)

You can find watering cans for fairly cheap at your local Wal-Mart, Target, Goodwill, etc. Although, as long as the plant gets watered, then a watering can is not required. Also, I highly suggest starting from seeds! It is truly rewarding and it is comforting knowing what products have been used on your plants.

Hope this gets you on the right path & remember if I can do it, so can you!

Always open to all questions, comments, or advice.

Happy Gardening,

Danielle

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