Gardening to Save Money on the Food Bill?
There are many varieties of fruits and vegetables that can be grown in Northeast Wisconsin. Check with your county extension office for this information. If you are gardening for the first time, it is important to take a soil sample. Information is available from your local county extension office or if you live in or near Brown County you can check the front page of the Brown County UW-Extension website for additional information www.browncountyextension.org
Reduce your inputs by collecting water for dry periods when watering will be necessary. Adding compost or well-rotted manure is key. Practice the principles of Integrated Pest Management. Reuse stakes, pots, etc.
When selecting varieties, chose vegetables with a long shelf life or can easily be canned or frozen as a way to stretch your food dollar. Potatoes, onions, and winter squash can be stored for several months at the appropriate temperature and humidity level. Donating excess produce to a local food pantry is a great way to ensure it does not go to waste.
If you have not gardened before, think small. Plants require regular watering, maintenance and harvesting. Growing too many plants in a too large of space can be overwhelming. Another option is growing a square foot garden. Information is available from the Brown County UW-Extension Office.