Make Money From Your Home Vegetable Garden

If you are like me then you already enjoy home vegetable gardening. For me it is relaxing, educational, a good source for decent exercise but most of all rewarding. I am not talking financially rewarding, but rewarding in a sense of, at the end of a growing season I have something to show for all my efforts and that is plenty of fruits and vegetables.

But what if you want to take your home vegetable garden to the next level and say use it as a tool to earn some extra income. Maybe you just want to earn enough to pay for the seeds you buy, the water you use and the fertilizer you need to make everything grow.

It is possible, but just like anything else in life it takes work. So before you get started the first thing I recommend is make sure you are having fun with it. Don’t just do it because it makes you money, you can get any type of second job for that. Do it because you love it, brings a smile to the face and makes you happy. When this happens the money will follow.

The first way you can earn some extra cash is your own roadside stand or a stand at your local community flea market. When you harvest your vegetables you can set yourself up a little stand and sell it by the weight, quantity or whatever is easier for you. To get an idea of what you can charge for your vegetables, take a ride to your local grocer and see what they charge and make it comparable. If your harvest looks good and healthy, and priced right, you should have no problem making some sales.

A second way to earn some extra cash at your local flea market is to sell plants after they have germinated. It is a way for you to supply other home vegetable gardeners. If you have the space to germinate seeds indoors during the cooler months, transfer them once they have sprouted to pots, then you have everything you need to make a dollar or two per plant. Of course the larger the plants the more you can charge, but I will say there is a cut off for price and size. A dollar or two for a three to six inch plant is ideal and tomato plants do the best.

Who knows how to grow plants better in your area then you right? Well put that knowledge to the test and host a one day home vegetable gardening clinic for say five to ten bucks. You can go over which plants you grow, your success stories and so on, passing along your knowledge to others. The downfall is you will need a place to host it. Now I know our local library will let you use their rooms for a small fee as will the local schools, so start there first.

As you can see none of these methods mentioned above are out of the ordinary or crazy ideas. They are straightforward ways to utilize the skill set that you already have with home vegetable gardening and using that skill set to make you a few extra bucks.

Intuitive and Aesthetic Evergreen Herb Garden Designs For Home Herb Gardens

Light up your dull life with some color. Green color being nature’s favorite color for the trees and forests, design and plan an evergreen herb garden with a ‘green and red’ or ‘green and yellow’ theme. Spring brings exuberance that peaks with the full bloom of the flowers and herbs. Summer heat urges plants in the ‘Theme Gardens’ to invite you to touch soft green textured leaves; get fresh, cool air and breathe exotic aromas from your home herb garden. Autumn’s shorter days bring the Nasturtiums into bloom and cover pepper plants with fiery red colored fruits. If you decide to have an evergreen herb garden at home the question arises how do you go about designing it. You can have your own themes like – Healing Garden, Culinary Garden, Fragrance Garden, Tea Herb Garden, Italian Herb garden and so on. The designs can be broadly based on the seasons or famous themes that are outlined below:

Potager Garden
A small vegetable or traditional kitchen garden in French is known as ‘Potager garden’. A Potager garden may contain edible and non-edible (scent, dye) herbs. Non edible plants like flowering blooms are used to enhance the garden’s beauty. A well designed and carefully planned Potager can provide culinary herbs, flowers and vegetables throughout the year in all seasons. The Potager garden need not be a miniature version of old farm plots but the design can vary with aesthetic landscaping, lawn areas and ornamental plants with flower blossoms. The kitchen garden may have a separate section of herbs and vegetables. A structured Potager garden can be designed with repetitive geometric patterns like circle, triangle and oblong shapes to give a year round visual appeal and a choice of perennials and annuals plantings.

Cottage garden
Cottage garden is nothing but a distinct and informal design with traditional plants, dense green foliage, ornamental and culinary herbs. They are also known as English gardens, the central theme of focus and attention for such gardens is the grace and charm rather than the grandeur and formal glamorous designs. Homely Cottage gardens go back to several centuries and are at present, reinvented in style with more structure and artistic creations. Traditional Cottage gardens had flowering plants like roses, hollyhocks, pansies, delphinium including bee-hives and livestock. The emphasis is on abundant greenery of vegetables and herbs along with fruit bearing trees. You can design a cottage herb garden on a sun-dial theme with curved paving paths lined with thymes and a rustic seat to relax.

Witches Garden
Witches Garden is a herb garden specifically designed and used for the cultivation of culinary and magical or medicinal herbs. For centuries, wise folks, women and monks after discovering the healing power of herbs started using them for treating minor and major ailments. During the medieval period, monks and nuns acquired this medical knowledge and grew the necessary medicinal herbs in gardens especially meant for healing. They were mistaken by the common people as witches or evil persons having super-natural powers and were condemned for centuries. There are plenty of medicinal herbs that you can aim for. All herbs including rosemary, sage, aloe vera, parsley, mint, henbane, marjoram, rue, angelica, basil have potent to heal.

If you are concerned about the empty and devoid look of your herb garden in winter, plant some candy-red branches of the red twig dogwoods and sedum that will stay green throughout the winter. Plant some creepers that will trail over the side of the window sill giving an enchanting and vivid look. Bamboo, ornamental grasses and flat leaf Italian parsley are three plants that are used profoundly by avid gardeners in winter season. While the above themes are indicative of the traditions and can be used for starting a herb garden there is always room for innovation, ‘mix and match’ while setting up a herb garden with a unique theme.

Home Vegetable Gardening – Growing Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is a wonderful addition to any home vegetable garden. With the many varieties there are to grow, you can literally add a wide range of colors and flavors to salads and many other recipes. Here is how you can properly grow Swiss chard in your home vegetable garden.

I like to start it indoors about two weeks prior to last frost of the season. This gives my seeds ample time to germinate. If you plan on starting your seeds outdoors wait at least a week after the final frost of the season. Bury your seeds no deeper than a half inch, with the soil being no cooler than fifty degrees Fahrenheit and no warmer than eighty-five degrees Fahrenheit.

Swiss chard likes the soil pH level to be as near neutral as possible. Keep your soil around a pH reading of 7.0 or as close as you can get without going over 7.0. To take a reading of your soil’s pH level you can simply visit your local home or garden center and pick up a basic soil testing kit for just a couple of bucks.

Regardless of whether you started the seeds indoors or outdoors, space your it out at least eight inches to give them and their roots plenty of room to grow. Your watering of Swiss chard should be moderate and even and they grow best in full sun.

You have a couple of options when they are ready to be harvested. When the leaves get to be eight to ten inches you can simply cut the leaves off and eat them or you can cut the plant off at the stem about an inch above the soil level. The second option will allow the plant to continue to grow giving you more harvests throughout the season.

Swiss chard makes a good companion plant for cabbage, legumes and lettuce and bad companions for Swiss chard are beets and spinach. Also avoid following the bad companion plants in a plant rotation cycle.

As you can see growing Swiss chard is fairly easy. Just make sure you follow the steps above and you will be well on your way to a wonderful Swiss chard crop.