Tips to Start an Indoor Garden

Spring is here and with that comes the desire to start a garden. Whether you’re looking to keep an indoor garden all season long or start your garden indoors to be moved outside once the weather warms up, I have the tips for you. Check out the best tips to start an indoor garden below so that you can successfully grow your own food this year.

Tips to Start an Indoor Garden

Know the Growing Conditions

Whether you’re growing herbs, veggies or fruits with your indoor garden, you’ll need to know the best growing conditions for each of the items. While herbs have the easiest growing conditions as they don’t require a whole lot, some veggies or fruits may need a specific amount of sunlight each day for maximum growth potential.

Look for Maximum Sunlight

When you start an indoor garden you’re going to have to be creative with the location. Look around your home and find the maximum sunlight areas. Once you’ve figured out which location is best for maximum sunlight, create a stand that you’re able to place your planting pots. You’ll want to make sure this location is a low-traffic area to avoid them toppling over when kids run by.

Set the Best Temperature

Some green leaf veggies need a cooler climate for maximum growth while other plants may need a warmer environment. When you figure out the best temperature for each of the items you plan to grow in your indoor garden, you’ll be able to commit to the proper location for best temperature, ideal growing conditions, and maximum sunlight exposure.

Use the Right Potting Soil

Use a sterile potting mix option as this will reduce the risk of soil-borne pathogens as well as ensure the plant pots are light in weight. There are pre-mixed options for potting soil but they can get expensive when you opt for the soil that has moisture-holding crystals in them. You may use even quantities of perlite, vermiculite, peat moss and sand to create your own potting soil best for veggies.

Find the Best Containers

Potting plants are pretty affordable for even the most frugal of families. Head to your local dollar store where they should have deals on the best containers suitable for growing herbs, veggies and fruits. Consider the root growth of your indoor garden containers and whether your veggies are known to grow as vines or not, this will assist in ensuring your indoor garden has a successful harvest.

There are many ways you can get that indoor garden started, the tips I shared today should help move you forward to growing your own herbs, veggies, and fruits inside this spring season. If you want to transplant your indoor garden to the outside, carefully create an outdoor garden and move your indoor plants to their outdoor home.

Saving Money on Canning Supplies

I learned the food preservation art of canning a few years ago and have been hooked ever since.

I love that I am able to put up our garden’s bounty for my family to enjoy throughout the year. However, I don’t love how expensive home canning supplies can be. Most home canners don’t think much about canning during the winter, or “off season” but January and February are actually perfect months to plan ahead and save money on supplies.

saving money on canning supplies

1. Never miss an opportunity to walk through the canning aisle.

Even on shopping trips that have nothing to do with canning at all, I always walk through the food preservation section. I have discovered unadvertised markdowns on pectin powder, jars, and lids. My best find ever happened last winter when I snagged several packets of my favorite salsa mix for less than half price. I made several batches of salsa last summer and I smiled every time I opened up one of those marked-down packages.

2. Talk with other home canners.

I love talking with others about their canning and learning any secrets they wish to share. Not only is it a great way to exchange ideas and recipes, it can be a great way to save money. I’ve been invited to pick apples and pears at one coworker’s over-producing orchard, and been gifted four large boxes of perfectly good canning jars from another coworker who was downsizing. Not paying a cent for apples and pears, and not buying dozens of jars, saved me well over $100 that year.

3. Think outside of the box.

Just like with most things, you can get creative with canning. For example, our local BBQ joint uses pint mason jars for drinking glasses and I found out they didn’t really have a use for the lids or rings. After a brief conversation with the kitchen manager, I had a large box of unused lids and rings in the back of my car. The restaurant was happy to have the box out of their storage room, and I was thrilled to have about 200 lids and rings that I didn’t have to pay for. Estate sales, yard sales, local Facebook buy-and-sell groups, and Craigslist can all be ways to find quality canning supplies for not much money, or even free.

I know it is cold outside now, and canning season seems so far away, but it will be here before we know it, and I want to be prepared when the first early produce becomes available.

If you’re a home canner, what do you do to save money on supplies? I’d love some more tips and tricks to share!

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How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies Naturally

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies Naturally

This is a tip that my grandmother taught me when I was little and I still use it to this day.  I hope you find it helpful too!

To get rid of pesky fruit flies, try this simple trick: Fill a small glass or empty jelly jar 1/2 full with Apple Cider Vinegar. Add 2 drops of dish washing liquid, and mix well. With a jelly jar, you can just put the lid on and shake it! Leave the liquid standing somewhere in your kitchen where it’s not likely to get knocked over and take the lid off. You’ll find that fruit flies are naturally drawn to the jar (and unable to leave).

Apple cider vinegar, dish soap, and water makes a great organic insecticide so after use as a bug trap, add a little water and empty the liquid into a flower bed or potted plant, and start again!