This is a guest post by Stephanie Lynch of HowMuchIsIt.Org
Whether you envy your neighbor’s garden or you have had the itch to start gardening, you may be thinking about starting your own. Regardless of where you live or how much space you have, there’s always going to be room for a garden.
A garden is a wonderful way to reduce stress, give you something to do, and best of all – put food on your table. There’s nothing better than eating vegetables or fruit that you grew on your own.
While gardening is a low-cost hobby, it will require a small investment if you want to start one. How much it’s going to cost will greatly depend on what you plan on doing. The initial investment can be as little as a few dollars to as much as a few hundred. To help you budget, here’s what most supplies are going to cost you.
How do you want to garden?
First of all, you’re going to want to ask yourself how you want to garden. Do you have a plot of land that you can till in your backyard, or do you need to use a raised garden bed? Or do you just have a backyard deck?
If you have a plot of land, you will more than likely want to rent a rototiller to make the job easier. Local rental stores will let you rent one for less than $75 for the day.
On the other hand, if you want a raised garden bed, which is ideal to place either on a deck or in smaller areas, a set already pre-built will cost about $50 to $100; however, if you are handy and can create your own, the materials will probably cost less than $5 to $10.
Once you figure out how you want to create your garden, the next plan is to figure out your soil situation. If you tilled your garden, you should be able to use the soil in your backyard. If you want to make sure the soil will be good growing soil, consider purchasing a soil test kit. These kits cost less than $15. If you’re using a raised bed or you need to add soil, plan on spending about $50 per cubic yard. A cubic yard, if it’s two inches thick, will cover close to 160 square feet. Also, if your soil needs fertilizer, a five-pound container will retail for about $10.
The next question you want to ask yourself if you want to protect your garden from the critters that hang around your yard. Once your crops start to grow, you can bet on other animals coming in to enjoy a nice treat. To protect your crops, it’s a pretty good idea to purchase some fencing to keep most critters out. While fencing won’t protect your garden 100%, it will keep most animals out.
With garden fencing, the sky is the limit when it comes to the price. You can purchase border wire fencing for as little as $15 per 20 feet, or if you want to hire the professionals, you can install an aluminum fence for upwards of $10+ per linear foot.
Now that your garden is fenced and prepped with soil, the next step is to make sure you have all of the necessary tools. Listed below are the tools that most people have for their garden:
- Gloves ($1 to $5)
- Spade ($1 to $5)
- Rake ($5 to $20)
- Hoe ($10 to $40)
- Hose ($10 to $50)
- Shovel ($10 to $30)
- Loppers ($20 to $50)
- Wheelbarrow ($30 to $100)
Lastly, the most important thing you will need to start gardening is, of course, the seeds. Depending on what you want to grow, most seed packets should be less than $5 at your local nursery. Visit popular seed companies, such as Burpee, to see what you should be prepared to pay.
As you can see, the costs can be all over the place, depending on what you want to do with your garden. To play it safe, plan on budgeting at least $200 to $350 to have a fully functional garden that’s enclosed. Ultimately, it’s up to you to figure out what you want and how much you want to put into it.
Stephanie resides in Gilbert, Arizona, where she tends to her garden year round. If she’s not gardening, she’s hiking, biking or hanging out with her two sons and husband. You can find more of her cost-helping guides at howmuchisit.org.
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