how to start a garden
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how to start a garden with $10

I jumped into gardening in 2014 when we purchased this home. Not being sure if it was something I would be totally interested in,  I opted to have a container garden instead of having my husband dig an in ground one and get in to remove some of the trees out back. Unfortunately due to the slope in our backyard and an overabundance of shade in the areas where the land is flat I’ve decided to upgrade to square foot gardening this year.

Now don’t get me wrong, over the years I’ve accumulated tons of tools, ranging from a backpack blower (read backpack blower reviews here), a lawn mower, tons of different seeds, gloves and just general equipment. But, I didn’t start that way.

We are currently in that funny phase of weather where the days are warmer but the nights are still a little cold and we can’t write off one last frost. I’m sure it’s like this in other parts of the world but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a head start on your garden by starting your seeds indoors.

With $10 or less you can start your seedlings with just a few items that you can pick up from your local big box retailer or home improvement store.

how to start a garden

You will need:

  • seeds { $1.29 – 3.29 per pack}
  • aluminum pan { 2 for $1 at Dollar Tree}
  • peat pellets { approx. $3.50 for 36 }
  • water

Start with laying the peat pellets at the bottom of the aluminum pan. Do not crowd them, once you add water they expand

how to start a garden

how to start a garden

Once they are all laid out, pour water into the corner of the pan. and wait for the pellets to swell. They will grow to about an inch in height.

how to start a garden

how to start a garden

Once they have grown, peel some of the netting back, take a toothpick and lift the dirt a little bit, drop the seeds in and lightly cover them. Only add about three seeds. You will eventually thin them out, at this point you just want to make sure you have some germinate.

After you have planted the seeds, empty the water from the pan. You do not want the peat pellets to sit in water.

Now it is time to watch them grow. Lettuce will germinate within 3-5 days. Now you want to make sure your seedlings get light. I have put mine under a grow light to ensure they get a good start. I’ll be back next week to show you how to make your grow light for around $10.

how to start a garden

Happy Gardening until next week.




  • Reply
    February 25, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Thanks for this! When we move I’m hoping to have the space for a garden. My last attempt at a container garden went okay. I was surprised at how much each plant yielded and how little my tomato plant made. I think I went somewhere wrong with the tomatoes.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Thanks for sharing! I’ve been thinking about starting a garden since seeing your posts last year. And this is such an easy affordable way to get started.

  • Reply
    February 26, 2016 at 10:25 am

    We have a square foot garden box and we also use a few containers . Plus, we have an area that we plant stuff in directly into the ground. We also started a few years ago and we are still learning what will grow in our spaces and what won’t. I need to purchase some pellets and get started with my seedlings for the spring. I need to look into how to use a grow light. I’ve never heard of it before, so that for sharing about the grow light.

  • Reply
    Tasheena @ Our Delightful Home
    February 29, 2016 at 6:42 am

    I was looking forward to seeing this post. I have to get to starting my garden.

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