The Cheap Vegan Vegetable Garden
I recently started my first ever vegetable garden. My dad had always grown vegetables but I usually just enjoyed the fruits of his labor. Now that I’m living in LA I want to take advantage of the sun and grow some greens of my own.
Since I’m in the city, we don’t have garden space in my apartment complex. I asked my landlord if I could put a planter out and he happily agreed. He even helped me build it!
To build a planter you need treated wood (to keep bugs from eating it) and some long nails that are really hard to hammer in… I wish I could say that I was a great builder and I did it all on my own, but without help I probably would have just ended up buying a bunch of pots and laying them in a row on a shelf.
Once I had the planter, I filled it with dirt and an organic alternative to Miracle Grow (ask the people at the nursery for a suggestion).
CHEAP VEGAN WARNING: Don’t be too cheap of a vegan, refrain from getting free dirt on Craig’s List as tempting as free dirt sounds (does free dirt only sound tempting to me?) The problem with free dirt is you don’t know what seeds or plant diseases are already in it, you could be using dirt full of weeds and you’ll only know once you are already too invested to start over.
Next, you need to pick out some plants. This will depend on the time of year you are planting, the climate you live in, and the size of your garden. For example, my dad suggested that I get some carrot seed and sprinkle it around the garden. That would be a great idea in Spring time on the East coast, but not in LA. Be sure to ask your garden supply store what works best in your climate. If you go to a good local nursery the guys there are sure to be a rich source of information, talk to them!
In LA, this time of year, in a planter, these were the plants I decided to grow:
- Orange Wax Peppers (seeds)
- Purple Basil
- Bush Beans (like green beans)
- Eggplant (seeds)
There is some science to plant placement. Some plants do better/worse planted next to each other. This is called “companion planting”. Basil and Tomato for example work well together. The basil deters certain bugs from eating the tomato plant.
Here is a chart of some good and bad companion plants.
I’ll be keeping you posted on how the garden grows and the tricks and tips I learn along the way.