9 Fun Ways to Use Old Tires in Your Garden Space

Have you been using old tires in or around your garden?

Are you interested in upcycling scrap items around your property?

Either way, many people have created some cute ideas on how to use old tires in their garden as décor or for gardening purposes.

I’ve scoured the internet and put these ideas together in one convenient location.

Hopefully these ideas will inspire you in your own garden:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. The DIY Tire Planter

Do you have an old tire which is getting in the way? Paint the tire, hang it from a tree, and plant flowers in it.

The flowers will drape outside of the tire and become a beautiful centerpiece in your yard or garden. It’s inexpensive and eye-catching.

2. Tire Wishing Well Planters

If you have a stack of old tires, leave them stacked. You can paint them a fun color, add markings to make them look like bricks, and fill them with dirt.

Add a top, which looks like the top of a wishing well, and place them in your yard or garden. You can use old tires to make a wishing well unique to your garden.

Try these paint pens to create your brick design. 

3. DIY Toadstools

Need a comfy place to sit in your garden? This seat could be used as a place to hang out and enjoy the beauty or as a place to rest after working in your garden.

Either way, you can make these adorable seats from old tires. They’ll fit in perfectly to the garden setting and be functional, too.

4. Stacked Tire Garden

If you have a multitude of old tires, paint them, and stack them in a unique way. Once they’re arranged, fill the tires with dirt.

From there, you can fill them with a variety of plants. It’s an easy and inexpensive make-shift garden space by using what you already have.

5. Tire Steps

Do you need steps to get to or from your garden? You can use old tires to create some. This idea buries them in the ground.

The tires are filled with mulch or soil to avoid twisting an ankle when using them. From there, you space them as you would any steps.

6. The Fancy DIY Tire Planter

This idea takes planting in a tire one step further than most. They show you how to make the rim of a tire flexible.

From there you can give the planter a fancy edge. This gives the planter a unique look which would add to any patio or garden.

Looking for easy-to-grow crops to plant in your tire projects? Check out this video for helpful tips! 

7. The Tire Teacup Planter

This is such a cute and frugal way to create a unique planter to showcase your gorgeous flowers or crops.

Stack tires, paint them, use part of the tire to construct a handle, and you have a teacup made of tires. Fill the planter with dirt, and you’re ready to start growing.

8. Tire Plant Stands

Whether you have one tire or many, you can create these unique tire plant stands. You’ll add wooden legs to the bottom of a tire.

From there, secure the tire to the legs. You should have a tripod at this point. After the tripod planter is complete, fill the tire with dirt, place the planter, and begin growing inside it.

Check out these seeds for a variety of flowers to grow in your plant stands! Need more tips on creating frugal and gorgeous planters? Get tips here!

9. DIY Ladybug Planter

Would you like to use old tires to create a gorgeous (and functional) piece of yard art? Check out this tutorial on creating a ladybug planter from old tires.

It’s a cute idea which allows you to upcycle unused items. Plus, it’s eye-catching and something sure to add a little pizazz to your garden.

You now have 9 different ways to utilize old tires in or around your garden. This is a great way to use what you have while also creating a unique space.

Now it’s time to take what you’ve learned and apply it. Collect and use old tires to get creative and begin making your garden space your own.  

Interested in using old tires for raised beds? Check out this tutorial!

8 Reasons to Begin Preserving Your Own Food Now

Do you have a friend who’s in their kitchen constantly during the summer months?

Are they preserving their own food?

I understand because I’m this friend to my friends. During the summer months I disappear because I’m busy in my garden and kitchen.

It’s vital I preserve enough food to sustain my family throughout the year. This helps us save money and makes it easier to quarterly grocery shop.

If you’ve ever wondered why people preserve their own food, you’re in luck! I’m going to share a few insights with you on why people put in the work to preserve their own food and why you should get started now:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Less Dough

When you preserve your own food, you save a ton of money. You can grow a large garden or purchase produce in bulk.

Either way, it makes the food less expensive than buying it as needed from your local grocery store. By preserving a great deal of my family’s own food, I’m able to have enough of a stockpile where I can grocery shop only once per quarter.

When I grocery shop at these times, I still only spend approximately what most do in a month because I’ve produced and preserved the majority of what we need.

Check out how my family saves approximately $500 per month on groceries with quarterly grocery shopping.

2. Healthier

Preserving your own food is much healthier than what you buy at the store. You know exactly what’s going into the food you eat, and in many cases, you’ve raised the food from a seed.

There’s no hidden surprises.

Plus, the food is stored in glass jars, no preservatives are used (besides natural canning salt), and the lids are BPA free.

If you’re concerned about the quality of food your family is consuming and their health, preserving your own food is the way to go.

3. It’s Delicious!

I tell my husband all the time, when my kids are grown, the first thing I’m going to do is take our tractor and run straight through our two large gardens.

Why? Because they’re a ton of work! When it’s only my husband and I, we won’t need such large plots to raise our own food.

However, I won’t quit gardening all together (until I’m too old to safely do it anymore.) We’ll switch to a nice raised bed garden, have a few containers, and I’ll keep my perennial crops. I’ll still raise enough food to preserve for us.

After canning my own green beans and tomatoes for almost a decade, I can’t go back to the store for these items.

They don’t taste as good from the store (in my humble opinion.) These crops don’t require much effort to grow, canning them isn’t difficult, and they taste amazing!

4. Preparedness

Whether it be a storm or a world crisis (such as this pandemic) my family and I don’t have to worry. The reason being is we preserve most of our own food and stockpile the rest with quarterly grocery shopping.

When you preserve most of your own food, you’re ready. You shouldn’t worry when trouble hits because your family has enough food to sustain them.

Plus, if you can start a fire, you can eat. This goes for canned and frozen foods. Preserving your own food always makes sure you’re ready for whatever may happen in life.

5. Easier on the Earth

If you’re environmentally mindful, you’ll be glad to know preserving your own food is much easier on the earth.

When you purchase goods from the grocery store, there’s a ton of packaging which comes with it. Even if you recycle the cans, plastic, or other packaging, it doesn’t answer for the packaging the product ships in.

As you preserve your own food, you’ll find you’re able to reuse the containers you store your food in. I’ve had the same canning jars for almost ten years.

We recently purchased the reusable Tattler lids which should last us another couple of decades.

Plus, when you store foods in the freezer or by dehydrating you can use reusable containers or minimal amounts of plastic bags which can later be recycled.

Need food preservation equipment? Check out this dehydrator! 

6. The Original Convenience Foods

Are you constantly frustrated because you feel as though you don’t have enough time to prepare your family home cooked meals?

Therefore, your bank account keeps dropping, the health of your family is concerning, and the food you eat doesn’t make you feel good?

Preserving your own food can help with this. Canning is the original way our ancestors had convenience foods.

You can produce quality meals in less than 30 minutes by opening a few jars of precooked foods. These foods are healthy because you know what’s in them and how they were preserved.

There’s no guilt in this style of convenience food.

Need a healthy meal plan? Check out my carb-friendly meal plan with FREE printable! 

7. It’s a Skillset

Preserving your own food takes time, and it takes the patience of learning a new skill set. Here’s the amazing thing: none of it is hard.

Once you learn how to operate a dehydrator and canner, you’ve gained the skills you need to store food for yourself and your family for the year to come.

It does take an investment when purchasing the necessary materials. Plus, it takes the investment of time.

Deciding whether to invest the time and money to learn to preserve food is up to you, but it certainly can provide a great return on your investment. 

8. Do It Now!

If you’re interested in learning to preserve your own food, the time is now. I say this with a sense of urgency.

As this pandemic rolls through, you begin to see a side of people you didn’t know was there. People are panicked and looking out for themselves.

You don’t want to be at your local store’s mercy when trouble hits. We’ve already seen this isn’t an efficient plan.

The same people who are panicked in the stores have headed online and started stocking up on the equipment necessary to preserve their own food.

It’s nearly impossible to find a good deal on canning jars, canners, or canning lids right now because of the panic many are still feeling.

However, if you’re going to begin preserving food, I encourage you to get your supplies sooner rather than later.

Start learning the skills because unfortunately, the chaos of this world is going to keep happening. You should be prepared for the next round of it.

The best way to be prepared is to practice becoming more self-sufficient and learn to preserve your own food.

Hopefully this sheds some light on why many people go the extra mile to preserve their own food each year.

It’s a great skill to have when being prepared, but it can also help you to save money and lead a healthier lifestyle.

Now that you know the perks of preserving your own food, what are you waiting for? Figure out how to garden on the cheap and start preserving your own foods. 

Create Frugal Window Boxes and Gorgeous Outdoor Decor with These 4 Tips

Do you want to add character to your home without spending a ton of money?

Start with frugal window boxes. You can buy or build your own, and you don’t have to spend a fortune planting in them.

I love window boxes and have had them at most of my homes. The only downside was how much money I spent on flowers each year to make them look good.

This year, we set different goals where I needed to save as much money as possible. One of my husband’s friends told me how to have gorgeous frugal window boxes without spending a fortune.

Here’s how you can have fantastic window boxes without breaking the bank:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Pick Your Window Boxes

Finding window boxes is easy. You can buy them online or purchase them from most big box stores. If you’d rather build your own window boxes, you can.

Decide how many window boxes you want, where they’ll be placed, and note the amount of sunlight the boxes will get throughout the day.

Once you have your flower containers and decide on placement, you’re ready to start creating your frugal window boxes.

2. What Will You Grow?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

You can use window boxes as gardening space for herbs and vegetables.

I use my window boxes to grow flowers because I have plenty of inground gardening space around my house for fresh veggies and herbs.

What you will grow in your window boxes is up to you. If you choose to go with herbs or vegetables, don’t overcrowd your boxes. You can grow:

·       Patio tomatoes

·       Peppers

·       Basil

·       Cilantro

·       Parsley

·       Strawberries

·       Squash

·       Pickling cucumbers

·       Chives

·       Lavender

·       Mint

If you prefer to go with flowers, you can choose to plant a variety in each box. You can also grow wildflower mixtures or plants which flow like wave petunias. There are a variety of flowers which can work well in your frugal window boxes.

3. Place and Sow

Once you know what you’ll be growing in your window boxes, it’s time to fill them with quality soil and sow the seed.

You can save a ton of money by growing the plants yourself instead of purchasing seedlings.

If you want vegetables, herbs, or a variety of plants, start the seeds indoors until they’re big enough to transplant outdoors in your window boxes.

However, I chose to go with a wildflower mixture this year. It made things a ton easier. I sprinkled the seeds over the dirt and waited.

If you live in a colder climate, you may want to move your window boxes into your garage, greenhouse, or inside your home to give them enough warmth to germinate.

Otherwise, sprinkle the seeds in the boxes outdoors, water regularly, and wait. If you go with a wildflower mixture, they’ll look like weeds for the first month of growing.

After this stage, they’re gorgeous!

4. Watch Them Grow

It’s important to continue to water and fertilize your flowers over the grow season. If you’d like to have frugal window boxes to decorate your home for other seasons, build or buy a few extra boxes.

This will allow you to start the next season’s flowers without cutting your current décor short. Be sure to choose flowers which will flourish in your planting zone and growing conditions.

In my case, my front porch receives mostly shade. Therefore, a wildflower mixture which prefers shade is an optimal choice. Your situation may be different.

Let’s review:

·       Shop the seed section at your local store or buy seeds online

·       Start the seeds indoors or in the window boxes

·       Water and fertilize as needed

·       Choose flowers which work well for your planting zone and growing conditions

By growing your window boxes from seed, you can save yourself a great deal of money and still have gorgeous natural décor around your home.

I hope this helps you to have gorgeous frugal window boxes without busting your budget. Happy growing! 

Be sure to check out these 7 frugal gardening methods to grow vegetables and flowers on the cheap!

5 Effortless Steps to Use Old Tires in Your Garden

Do you need grow-space but are short on time and money?

I’ve been there. Gardening is a necessity for some, when you’re trying to live within your means or save money each month.

It’s important to use what you have available, educate yourself about the frugal gardening methods, and learn which crops are easiest to grow.

One way I made gardening affordable was to use what I already had available. I’m sure you’ve seen people garden in old chairs, toilets, or even buckets.

Have you tried to use old tires to create a garden?

There are many ways to go about it. Here’s how I use tires as raised beds in my garden:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Locate Old Tires

I use old tires as part of my herb garden. It allows me to separate some of the herbs which have a reputation for taking over their grow space.

Therefore, I plant them in the tires to make sure they don’t take over whole raised beds. I’m able to do this because I located old tires.

You may be able to find them at a junkyard, through social media, or around your own property. If you live on a farm, you may be surprised what’s been left there.

I was fortunate to have an entire stack of old tires on a part of our farm that hadn’t been used in years. We hauled them up to the front of the property with a tractor, and I put them to work.

If you don’t live on a farm, don’t lose hope. Old tires aren’t difficult to come by in most places.  

2. Become an Architect

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When gardening with old tires, you may still want them to appear nicely in your garden or yard. You should figure out where you’re going to place them and how they should look.

In my case, I placed them alongside larger raised beds. They work well for us, and it gives our farm a uniform look.

This part is completely up to you. Decide if you want to stack them, line them up, make them into a neat design, or place them sporadically around your property.

3. Channel Your Inner Artist

Once you have the tires placed where you’re going to use them, you may want to decorate them. I’ll be honest, our farm keeps me pretty busy.

Therefore, I didn’t take the time to paint them. If you want your tires to look better, you could apply a layer of paint.

This is a great way to add some color to your gardening area.

4. Play in the Dirt

After your tires are placed and decorated, it’s time to add the dirt. Use any quality soil you have and pour it in the center of the tire.

 I should mention here, you’re growing only in the rubber portion. The wheel should be removed. This provides more grow-space.

After the tire is filled with quality dirt, it’s time to plant your seeds or seedlings. Care for them as you would in any container garden.

Check out this germination mat to help get your garden started!

5. Uses

You may be wondering what you can grow inside a tire. Here are a few suggestions to help you use old tires you have on hand:

·       Mint

·       Lavender

·       Basil

·       Cilantro

·       Chives

·       Parsley

·       Tomatoes

·       Peppers

·       Squash

·       Cucumbers

·       Green beans

·       Small flowers

Hopefully, these tips help you use old tires which are available to you. They’re great for growing vertically or sporadically around your property.

By using what you have on hand and planting a few easy crops, you could be gardening on a budget in no time flat.

Good luck to you and your gardening efforts.

7 Frugal Methods for Gardening on a Budget

Did you know some gardening methods are more expensive than others? Why not try gardening on a budget?

Some methods can cost you quite a bit to get started. Certain people garden out of enjoyment, but if you’re trying to do life on a budget, you may be gardening out of necessity.

 If you fit in the latter category, you’re in the right place. I’m going to bring you some frugal gardening methods.

You shouldn’t have to spend a small fortune to start gardening. Here are the frugal gardening methods that can help you become more self-sufficient through gardening without being a financial burden:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Basic In Ground Gardening to Garden on a Budget

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

If you’d like to garden without a ton of investment, plant a garden in the ground. You’ll need a way to till your garden area. 

Consider buying a tiller.

Once you get the soil to a workable point, you’re only out the cost of seeds and fertilizer.

Not everyone has great soil to grow in, but if you’re fortunate enough to have quality soil, this type of gardening is the most inexpensive.

2. Raised Bed Gardening is Great for Gardening on a Budget

Raised beds don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. In fact, you can utilize materials you have hanging around your property to build awesome raised beds.

If you have wooden slabs, old pieces of wood, pieces of metal, tires, or any other usable material, create a raised bed. Fill the beds with quality dirt, and you’re ready to start gardening.

If mobility is a concern, try this mobile raised planter box. 

3. Container Gardening is Helpful When Gardening on a Budget

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

People get all tripped out about container gardening. They assume you must spend a small fortune on gorgeous containers to grow a garden.

I’m here to tell you that you don’t. Instead, use old flower pots or buckets to raise a garden. Don’t be afraid to buy pots second hand either. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, especially when using frugal gardening methods.

4. Window Box Gardening

Do you use window boxes on your house during the warmer months to create gorgeous, natural décor? Why not use this space for gardening?

Buy or build inexpensive window boxes. Fill the boxes with quality soil and grow a small garden in each box. They’re wonderful for herbs, vegetables, and shallow rooted fruits.

5. Hanging Basket Garden

Can you seriously raise a garden in hanging baskets? Why, yes! Yes, you can. Again, purchase inexpensive hanging baskets and hang them in a sunny location once filled with quality soil.

You can grow strawberries in a hanging basket, certain varieties of tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and other smaller plants.

6. Hügelkultur

If you’ve never heard of this style of gardening, you’re in for a treat. The idea behind Hügelkultur gardening is to incorporate what you have.

For instance, if you have a fallen tree, don’t trash it. Instead, cover it with soil and compost until it forms a large mound. Then plant your garden in the mound. This will compost over the years giving you quality soil to grow in and will retain moisture.

You can utilize this style of gardening inside your raised beds by placing large chunks of wood in the bottom. Layer the rest of the bed with smaller pieces of wood, mulch, compost, and soil. Hügelkultur is a wonderful frugal gardening method.

7. Vertical Gardening

Photo by Juanjo Menta on Pexels.com

Last, but not least, is vertical gardening. Not everyone has room for large gardening spaces which is why many gardeners have started growing vertically instead of horizontally.

Vertical gardening doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be as simple as buying a shoe organizer, filling each pouch with soil, and raising shallow rooted plants in each pocket. Again, it’s inexpensive and compact which makes it a great method for those working with limited funds and space.

Consider this planter and gardening pouch!

If you hang around the internet on a regular basis, it’s easy to become discouraged by thinking you must invest a lot upfront to create a functional grow space.

In my mind, this defeats the entire purpose of gardening from a place of necessity. I hope these frugal gardening methods encourage you to grow your own food, save money on your grocery bill, and avoid busting your budget.

It can be done. I know because I’ve done it for years.

Now, friends, I encourage you to try it for yourself. Pick the frugal gardening method that will work best for you and try your hand at gardening.

It’s okay to fail. Consider it a lesson and continue to persevere as you gain valuable gardening experience while maintaining life on a budget.

13 Easy Crops to Grow for the Beginner Gardener

Are you under the impression that you can’t grow anything?

Have you tried gardening in the past with disastrous results? Oh, friends, don’t give up. I was once the exact same way.

When we first started gardening, I killed four gardens trying to get something to grow. That was almost ten years ago.

Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks and discovered there are easy crops to grow. Are you interested?

Great! Here’s my list of easy crops to grow:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Green Beans

Photo by Yulia Rozanova on Pexels.com

Green beans made the top of this list because they’re so simple to grow. There’s no starting of seeds or transplanting, in most cases.

Instead, green beans can be directly sown into the area you’d like to raise them. This makes life much easier for beginner gardeners.

You buy the seeds, place them in quality soil, provide adequate care (such as watering, weeding, and proper lighting), and watch them grow. Just be mindful of spacing and supporting the beans if you choose a type that runs.

2. Tomatoes

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Tomatoes are easy if you only raise a few plants. By reducing your numbers, it gives you an opportunity to gain experience and keep a close eye on each plant.

Place them in a container with quality dirt, water them, and fertilize as needed. You could grow them in a raised or in ground bed as well.

Be sure they have plenty of sunlight. The biggest problems people run into with tomatoes are pests, disease, and over watering.

I recommend container gardening as you learn to grow tomatoes because it helps beginner gardeners avoid many of the diseases and pests that are attracted to larger garden areas.

3. Squash

Photo by Angele J on Pexels.com

Squash is one of those plants that the first year you grow them you think, “Oh, wow! It’s growing!” Every year after you’re like, “Oh no, it’s growing!”

I say this because one plant produces a massive harvest. You don’t need many squash plants, but if you plant them in a mound of quality soil, they should grow with little extra effort on your part.

Check into companion planting to help avoid pests. Diseases and pests are squash plants’ biggest struggles.

4. Lettuce

Lettuce is another one of the easy crops to grow. Again, I recommend growing a leaf lettuce in a container to simplify things even more.

Leaf lettuce is resilient, you don’t have to worry about spacing when planting, and you control the soil when gardening in containers.

Be aware that lettuce does best in cooler temperatures. If you grow lettuce in warm weather, it may bolt (or go to seed) quickly.

5. Spinach

Spinach is the first crop I ever grew when my husband built me a greenhouse almost a decade ago. I chose spinach because of how easy it is to grow.

My greenhouse had beds in it. I sowed the seed directly and had a great harvest for a first-time greenhouse gardener.

If you want to grow spinach too, sow the seed directly into quality soil. When it sprouts, you may have to thin the plants out, but spinach is a durable plant that grows well in cooler temperatures.

6. Herbs

If you can’t grow a thing, buy some herbs! I’ve had great experiences growing herbs because they produce well with only minimal care.

Plus, many times, they’ll go to seed at the end of the year. This produces volunteer plants that will sprout the following year.

To grow herbs, I recommend starting with seedlings purchased from your local nursery or big box store. Plant them in quality soil with ample sunlight. They should produce if the weather is warm enough.

Some herbs are perennials, so they’ll come back year after year.  One herb to be mindful of is mint. Once rooted, it will take over the bed its growing in, and is nearly impossible to get rid of.

7. Corn

Golden ears of corn are a beautiful sight standing in your garden. They taste delicious, too! The best thing about corn is that it’s easy to grow.

The seeds usually come in a coating that is poisonous to animals which encourages squirrels to leave them alone while the seed is sprouting.

Once it has sprouted, you may need to thin the corn out. Other than that, keep it watered, fertilized, and monitor for pests.

It’s a good idea to plant the corn in a box formation, instead of rows, as this protects it from wind damage.

8. Greens

I love growing greens. Turnip greens to be exact. It’s a two-for-one crop that is simple to raise in your garden.

The seeds are tiny, so they should be direct sowed. Don’t dig individual holes. Instead, cast them out over quality, freshly tilled soil.

Once they sprout, thin them as needed. You can eat the greens while they’re tender and wait until the end of the season to harvest the turnips.

9. Peppers

Peppers are another crop I recommend starting with only a few plants. This allows you to learn to care for this type of plant and spot pests or problems easier.

You can raise pepper plants in an inground bed or a raised bed, but I recommend starting with container gardening because it’s easier to watch the soil and learn about watering properly.  

Pepper plants need plenty of sun. They should be watered regularly and fertilized approximately one time per month. Be sure to monitor for pests or signs of disease.

As the weather heats up, your pepper plants should begin producing a bountiful harvest.

10. Root Crops

I put root crops towards the end of this list because, in theory, they’re easy to grow. They don’t require vast amounts of sunlight or warm temperatures.

Radishes, carrots, and potatoes are easy root veggies to grow. The difficult part about growing root vegetables is the soil.

I usually recommend raising them in containers to begin with. If your soil isn’t loose enough it will hinder their growth.

11. Gourds

Gourds? Why would I possibly want to grow gourds? Well, because you can make a variety of crafts out of them, and you can even grow your own loofah sponges.

My husband and I accidentally found out how easy they are to grow when we planted some at our house for my mother-in-law. They were gorgeous, provided a ton of shade, and she had a ball crafting with them.

Be aware, you only need to grow a few seeds. They easily reseed and will most likely come back year after year.

12. Asparagus

Asparagus is a wonderful perennial crop to grow. It’s a good companion for a variety of other plants and doesn’t take up a ton of room.

Be sure to grow your asparagus where it has room to come back larger with each passing year.

It should also be out of the way to make sure it doesn’t get mowed down during yard work. Yes, I’m speaking from experience. 😊

13. Strawberries

The last item on our list of easy crops to grow is strawberries. Strawberries are delicious (especially in ice cream!)  and if planted in a permanent location, should come back every year.

You can grow them in hanging baskets, containers, window boxes, or in a bed. If you grow them in a bed, be prepared that they come back thicker each year.

Be sure to thin them when they come back to provide room to produce and breathe. Lack of airflow can make them susceptible to fungus.

If you’re new to gardening, I hope this list serves you well.   

Finding easy crops to grow isn’t difficult. Many times, you just have to garden differently in the beginning while you gain your footing.

Now, it’s time to put what you’ve learned into action. Go buy some seeds, quality soil, a few planters, and get busy gardening. Happy grow season, everyone! 

How to Build a Charming DIY Fire Pit Area in Only 4 Steps

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

Imagine it.

Summer nights, sitting around a fire outside, roasting marshmallows, and laughing with friends. Doesn’t this sound awesome?

This can be your reality. How do I know? Because it’s my reality. We built a gorgeous DIY fire pit area all by ourselves.

It was pretty simple to do, didn’t cost an arm and a leg, and we’re thrilled with it. This is how we built our own DIY fire pit area:

1. Lay the Foundation

We wanted our fire pit to be its own designated space. This meant it would need to have rock laid and an outline of some sort to separate it from the rest of our yard.

The project started by laying plastic over the portion of the yard where we wanted to place the fire pit. We had extra greenhouse plastic we weren’t using. You could use a tarp or weed barrier instead.

Make sure you lay plastic over the area a little larger than you intend the area to be. This will ensure the plastic is secured under the barrier. You don’t want plastic peeling up in your fire pit area. It could become a trip-hazard.

The idea behind laying plastic is to make sure that no grass can grow up through your ground cover. It will deter weeds and keep your area looking nicer.

Once we had the grass under control, we used landscaping timbers to mark off the border. They were driven into the ground with stakes. Don’t overexert yourself driving stakes through the landscaping timbers. It’s easier if you pre-drill your holes.

This is where you’ll cut away any excess plastic sticking out beyond the border.

After the landscaping timbers are applied, fill the area with rock. You can purchase some from a local rock query (if you have the ability to haul it yourself.)  If not, check local ads to see about having rock delivered to your home.

2. Pick Your Chairs

We have had some experience building fire pits. At our former home, we built a different style fire pit.  It had swings around it.(Similar to this one.) This is great for a normal-sized family.

As my mom says, “We’re the Paul Bunyan family.” Therefore, swings don’t really work for us for height and weight reasons.

Instead, we decided to build unique benches. My husband is an excellent carpenter, and I love these benches.

If you aren’t into building your own seating you could always buy benches or find some second hand. If you’d rather build chairs for your seating, consider an Adirondack chair.  

Once you have your seating under control, add them to the area, and you’re almost ready to utilize your new DIY fire pit area.

3. Build the Pit

There are a variety of ways to build a fire pit. You can use cinder block, stones, or purchase a fire pit. We chose to build our fire pit out of decorative landscaping bricks.

We decided how large around we wanted the fire pit by trial and error. Once we developed the right size, we added a second layer of stones by offsetting them from the first layer.

The fire pit ended up being three layers high. You could go taller if you choose, but this is a personal preference.

Each layer of stone should offset the layer before it. This helps make the fire pit have greater stability.

When your fire pit is fully constructed, you’re ready to rock and roll!

4. Beautify It

My husband is all about functionality. I, however, want a space to be beautiful and functional. In my language, it means our DIY fire pit area needed flowers and a pop of color.

We constructed cinder block planters by stacking cinder blocks in a small square where it could hold a potted plant.

The planters are two layers high. Again, you could go higher or lower, depending upon your preferences.

I purchased hanging baskets and sat them inside the cinder blocks. We also constructed a firewood holder out of cinder blocks. Are you seeing a theme here?

The firewood holder is two cinder blocks sitting adjacent from each other. We placed two 2×4’s in each cinder block. It’s an inexpensive holder that works well.

Building your own DIY fire pit area doesn’t need to be costly or difficult. Our fire pit area is pretty simple, but I’m in love with it.

I love that it’s inviting but also comfortable. Having benches with backs is a tremendous help in this area.

I hope our DIY fire pit area inspires you as you search for more ways to make your home unique and enjoyable!

6 Steps to Building an Inexpensive Cinder Block Raised Bed for Strawberries and Other Crops

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Would you like to raise your own strawberries?

If you don’t have a place to raise them you may be considering building a raised bed. This is smart because it contains them in one area.

Plus, it adds a little separation between the strawberries and the rest of your yard. If you need an inexpensive raised bed idea, I’ve got you covered.

Here’s how we built a durable but inexpensive raised bed for our strawberries:

You’ll need-

·       Cinder Blocks

·       Compost or Quality Soil

·       Strawberry Plants

1. Pick a Spot

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Most crops like to grow in sunny locations. Strawberries are no exception. Therefore, pick a place that gets at least six hours of sunlight during the summer growing months.

Also consider how convenient the location is for you to water and care for. If you put it too far away from the water source, it will make things difficult for you. If the bed is off by itself, it’s easier to neglect too.

2. Knock Down the Grass

Once you have your perfect location picked out, it’s time to ditch the grass. You can do this by laying newspaper or plastic over the location to kill everything.

If you need a faster option, clear the grass away with a weed eater and place a weed barrier over the spot to keep it from growing again. You can also lay newspaper on the spot after weed eating the location. It will stop weeds and also compost to make for richer dirt.  

3. Lay the Block

Cinder blocks are fairly inexpensive which is why we chose them to make our raised beds. Decide what shape you’d like your raised bed to be. The only specification is that you need to be able to reach the middle from either side.

If you can’t, you’ll have to step in the bed to maintain it. This isn’t what you want. Once you know the shape and size, lay the block to form the border.

An optional step is to paint the block. My mom did this with her raised cinder block bed. She painted it white because she wanted a more finished look.

4. Fill It Up

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When your raised bed has been created with the cinderblock border, it’s time to fill the bed up. Be sure to use quality dirt.

If you make your own compost, it would be great to use in your raised bed. We used cow manure that had composted. We were able to buy it from a local farmer and my strawberries have ballooned!

5. Add Strawberries

As stated above, you can use this raised bed to plant most anything you’d like. In my case, I used it as a strawberry bed. The reason being that when my strawberries began to get too large for a bed, I could remove the cinder blocks and allow them to spread out.

If you’d like to keep your strawberries in this bed, be sure to plant less strawberries your first year. They will produce more plants with each passing year. This bed would also work great for growing lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and most other vegetables.

6. Watch It Grow

After you get done planting in the raised bed, be sure to care for your plants. This will require mulching to keep the weeds down, watering, and fertilizing as needed.

Beyond the basic care, you simply stand back and watch everything take off. Hopefully, you’ll have delicious strawberries in the near future.

This raised bed cost us very little to build. It has served its purpose for the past three years, and we’re quite pleased with it.

If you need an inexpensive raised bed idea to raise your strawberries or other crops, hopefully this bed will be suitable for you too.

Keep in mind, you can always stack the blocks taller if you need the bed to be higher. It will only require more soil to grow in.

Hopefully this project has inspired you and will help you to become more self-sufficient. Good luck to you in your gardening ventures. 

18 Ways to Become Self Sufficient Right Where You Are

Are you interested in learning new ways of becoming self-sufficient right where you are?

Yes, you heard me correctly. You don’t need to move to a farm way out in the middle of nowhere (unless you really want to.)

Instead, you can learn a few new skills and start becoming self-sufficient in your current situation. I’m going to share with you a few ways to do exactly this.

Everyone may not be able to do everything on this list (or maybe you can), but hopefully you can find a solid place to start.

Here are ways to become self-sufficient in most settings:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Grow, Baby, Grow

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Most people can grow some of their own food. Whether you live in a house with a small yard, in an apartment with a balcony, or on a farm, there is a way to grow some form of a crop.

You can practice in ground gardening, raised bed gardening, container gardening, hanging basket gardening, grow vegetables in your window boxes, or grow a vertical garden. Where there’s a will, there’s usually a way.

Begin looking for ways to grow even a few vegetables where you are now. Anything you grow is less you must buy.

2. Cheep, Cheep

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Raising livestock is a great way to become self-sufficient. I recommend starting with something easy, like chickens. You only need one hen per person in your household. They make an incredible meat and egg source.

If you have more room you could incorporate goats for meat or dairy, ducks for eggs and meat, bees for pollination and honey, pigs as a meat source, or even a cow.

This will all depend upon the amount of space you have and the level of commitment you’re bringing to the table. Either way, by raising some form of small (or large) livestock will help you to become more self-reliant.

3. Can It Up

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If you live in a small area where you don’t have a ton of room to grow large quantities of crops, don’t give up hope about preserving your own food.

Instead, buy produce in bulk from produce stands, wholesale produce companies, or even local groceries. If an item is on sale, buy a large quantity to preserve.

However you get your produce, prepare to preserve it via canning, dehydrating, or freezing. By putting away your own food each year, you’re reducing your reliance on grocery stores.

4. Don’t Toss It

Look around your home. Do you see many items that you use regularly that are disposable? Now, stop and think about how much money you’re literally tossing in the garbage.

Try to find new ways to have what you need in a way that is reusable. For instance, instead of using disposable napkins, use cloth napkins.

Instead of using disposable cups, use travel mugs. Start using dish towels instead of disposable paper towels. By finding reusable items, you’re depending upon the store less.

5. Composting

Composting is a great way to utilize items you would otherwise toss, while also fueling your garden. The idea is to keep a compost pail. Toss any scraps you have in the pail and toss the scraps into either your chicken yard or compost barrel.

The barrel will give the compost a place to break down over time. If you have chickens, they’ll scratch their way through the compost turning it into a quality product.

From there, you can plant with the compost or use it to fertilize your crops.

6. Save the Seeds

When plants are done producing, they’ll go to seed. This means they produce seeds or seed pods at the end of their life.

As this happens, you should collect the seeds and place them in a dehydrator. You can also place them in the sun to dry.

Once they’re dry, place them in a freezer bag and pop them in the freezer until you need them.

7. Making It Like Grandma

If you’re going to be self-sufficient, you must know how to cook. You should also know how to cook from scratch.

Why? Because you can’t grow convenience foods. It’s a good idea to be able to take basic ingredients and be able to make a meal.

Plus, cooking from scratch is usually less expensive. Knowing your way around the kitchen is important when trying to be self-sufficient.

8. Grocery Shop in the Wild

Do you enjoy spending time in the outdoors? Great! You can get outdoors more when trying to be more self-sufficient.

If you enjoy hunting or fishing, this can benefit you greatly. This is free meat that’s all-natural and raised in the wild.

Be sure to follow all laws in regards to having proper licensing and only hunting during the proper times of the year. However, you could end up with venison, fish, turkey, squirrel, rabbit, and more.

9. When It Falls, Catch It

Being self-sufficient includes having your own water source. Some people have a well or even a body of water on their property.

However, it’s a great idea to catch rainwater. It’s free and can be easily caught with a barrel and gutter system.

Rainwater is great for watering your plants or livestock.

10. The “Old Way” of Doing Things

Our ancestors knew so many things that unfortunately we’ve lost over time. Consider learning some of the “old” skills.

For instance, try to learn how to wash your clothes by hand, line drying your clothes, sewing, knitting, crocheting, or even how to butcher your own meat.

Why? Again, because the more you know how to do the less you must depend upon others for that skillset.

11. DIY

Doing it yourself is a way of life for those who are trying to be self-sufficient. Consider learning how to DIY more things.

You can learn to make your own soap, candles, and many of your kitchen staples. This can save you a lot of money and also know more about the products you’re using.

Carpentry is another handy skill when being self-sufficient. Tap into resources around you by acquiring a mentor or utilizing resources on the internet.

12. Money, Money, Money

We all know that our economy can be uncertain. One day jobs are booming, and the next people are unemployed.

Try to avoid riding this wave by starting your own side business and creating your own income. This way, if the bottom falls out of your day job, you still have your side gig to turn to.

This can be anything from building items to sell, selling produce, selling homemade crafts, blogging, or freelance writing.

13. Dig Out

Debt ties you down. It’s difficult to be self-sufficient when you owe people money. Therefore, try to ditch the debt.

This all starts by taking control of your finances. Create a solid budget, try to stick to it, and pay down debt as quickly as possible.

I know this is hard, but over time, hopefully you can lower your debt in an effort to be more self-sufficient.

14. The Simple Life

The simpler you live, the easier it is to be self-sufficient. When living simply, you want less. This equates to less maintenance in your life.

All of this equals less money spent and hopefully less debt to take on.

By living the simple life, it gets your mindset in “self-sufficient mode.” This makes the whole process easier on you.

15. Find a New Purpose

Don’t toss anything unless you know that you can’t repurpose it for something else. This is hard for me because I hate clutter.

However, sometimes you can create some pretty neat items from things you’d otherwise toss in the garbage.

This saves you money and also stops the amount of waste you have in your life. Get creative before throwing anything away.

16. Foraging

Foraging can be as simple as heading out in the woods, identifying plants, and bringing the edible items home to eat.

This costs you nothing to do, is healthy, and is making you more self-sufficient.

However, you can make it even easier by looking out in your front yard for dandelions. They have a ton of purposes and can be an easy item to forage for.

17. Render Fat

Whether you process your own meat, or you happen to see fat at your local butcher shop, it’s a great way to become more self-sufficient.

Lard has many health benefits and is great for many things.

Before you begin buying oil at the grocery store, consider stocking up on lard and rendering it yourself. It’s a super easy process that can save you a great deal of money.

18. Forbidden Fruit

Consider raising your own fruit. Strawberries can be grown in hanging baskets if you’re short on space. You can replace ornamental plants with fruit.

Instead of growing typical bushes, plant blueberry bushes. Instead of planting ornamental trees, consider planting a fruit tree.

There are even patio versions of some blueberry and blackberry bushes which allows them to be easily grown in a pot.

You now have 18 ways to become self-sufficient right where you are. Every idea may not work for everyone.

However, I hope that everyone can find something on this list to start their own unique journey to self-sufficiency.

Remember, you may not need self-sufficiency skills tomorrow, but if the time comes you need them, you’ll never regret taking the time to develop them.

Good luck to you all!