We’re Still Gardening in 2021! Update on our Backyard Garden Efforts started in 2020.

If you remember from last year, we started digging up our backyard and planting a garden.  It seemed like the obvious choice to replant a new garden on that plot this year.

We actually planted some stuff last year that we knew we wouldn’t benefit from until this year – strawberries and blueberries.  We picked a couple strawberries when we were clearing out for the new garden and my blueberry bush has blueberries on it already!

The First Time Gardener is available on Amazon.


If you remember recently, I had a giveaway for The First Time Gardener Books.  I just announced the giveaway winner.  They’ve been emailed and you can see the announcement on Instagram – where I’ll also be posting about my garden from time to time!

This post contains affiliate links.

So, about my 2021 garden…

It’s not fancy and it doesn’t look pretty but my goal is to frugally supplement my food supply.

I’m not out to win a garden beautification award or have my pictures published in a home and garden magazine. This garden is meant to be frugal.][

What do you need to know to save money on your garden?

Pick a good location – summer vegetable gardens need SUN.  I would venture to say if you live where it gets VERY HOT, a little afternoon shade on your garden will be a good thing but for the most part, it needs to be in a spot that gets a lot of sun!  You also need to be able to reach it with your watering hose – so not too far from the house!

Check your soil!  We just used our backyard for our garden and we did alright last year.  But I had an organic fertilizer (Happy Frog Tomato & Vegetable) and I also compost, so I had things to amend the soil with.  Purchasing soil for a fair size garden plot will run up your cost.  But don’t despair if you can’t afford that.  Bags of compost manure are cheap and a bag of good fertilizer will go a long way.  Use that to tend to the ground around your plants and I believe you’ll find that your soil will improve over time.  Maybe in the future we can get enough soil to cover 500+ sq ft but for now, composting and fertilizing are working for us.

Also, to save money, make sure you’re planting things that work in your area AND try to start from seed.  Just because it’s sold at Lowe’s doesn’t mean it’s best for your backyard garden.  A little research will help.  Plus, shopping at local plant stores helps too!

I will expand on buying seed and shopping local more in the next point:

When it comes to purchasing plants and seeds, I try to shop local.

We have a couple of great nurseries and locally owned hardware stores that carry seed in the spring.  So I mostly shop locally for that.  If my local go-to places don’t have something I want, Lowe’s is my backup for plants.  I usually purchase tomatoes and bell pepper as plants but I start just about everything else from seed.

Cost wise – it is far more efficient to plant from seed because you can get a lot more bang for your buck. I don’t know about other garden nurseries, but the one near me carries the same Burpee seeds Lowe’s and Home Depot get. Plus, I choose the farmers co-op or feed-and-seed store first for see because you’re going to find the seeds that work best in your area.  At my local store I can get purple hull peas which you don’t usually find at Lowe’s – and they grow well here!  Plus a couple varieties of corn that don’t come in the seed packets at the Lowe’s.

When it came to herbs, I tried to reign myself in just a little.  Several years ago when I had a small garden, I went overkill on the herbs.  There’s still a corner of my yard overrun with oregano from that endeavor!  But I did plant cilantro – because we will use it!  My rosemary from last year is still growing too, so that’s great!

Herb gardens are great for small spaces – they don’t take up a lot of room and can easily be grown in pots and containers in small spaces like a sunny window or your back porch.


You can also order seeds online!


You can order the same Burpee seeds you find in store right from the Burpee website!  Be sure to sign up for their newsletter for free shipping!


BloomingBulb carries all your favorite bulb garden plants like tulips, daffodils, irises…but they also have edibles too! Like strawberries and asparagus!  Shop now!

Hoss Tools

Hoss Tools is a USA Company with a large variety of quality seeds.

Rise Gardens

Check out Rise Gardens if you want to try Indoor Gardening!

Garden Tower Project

Save $35 on the Garden Tower 2 when you sign up for the Garden Tower Project newsletter (scroll to the bottom of their homepage and click “sign up for newsletter” if the pop-up doesn’t come up for you.)



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