How to Start a Garden for Under $100

Good morning. Don't you just love summer? The sunshine, the fresh air, the taste of home grown veggies and the smell of fresh cut flowers. I do. I live in the middle of downtown Montreal and I don't even have a balcony, let alone a garden, but that's never stopped me from trying to grow my own flowers and vegetables. The one thing I always miss about my childhood home (other than my mother's chocolate chip pancakes) is having a garden.

In honour of our #MyYard Twitter Contest (UPDATE: CONTEST NOW CLOSED) I want to share some of my favourite things that you can grow in a garden. As you can image from everything I've already told you, I know absolutely nothing about how to start a garden.

So I turned to the one man who I know has the world's best green thumb...my Dad. Here are three tips on how to start a garden on a budget:

Buy perennial flowers

I like to say that perennial flowers are the lazy man's way to garden, they're flowers and shrubs that bloom every single year without any human intervention. All they need is water and sunlight. According to Canadian Gardening some no fault perennial flowers to help start your garden are Witchhazels and Snowdrops.

Even though perennials bloom on their own you can use an enhancement product such as Miracle Grow to give them an extra boost. It helps them grow faster and bigger, my Dad says even brighter but that is yet to be confirmed. You can pick up a container of Miracle Grow at Home Depot for around $15.

Plant herbs

If flowers aren't your thing you can start a herb garden. This is something I can do...and did back in May. Herbs are easy to grow because they're just like having a plant. All you have to do is put them in your garden (or a pot), give them water and watch them grow.

My favourite is Basil and my Dad loves Thyme. The next time you want to cook you don't need to stop at the grocery store, all you have to do is walk out to your garden and pick fresh herbs. You can buy a plant at the grocery store (around $8) and transfer it to your garden or you can pick up a packet of seeds (under $3) and start growing herbs from scratch. Let me know how it goes.

Flowers don't have to be expensive

No one says that you need to plant expensive flowers for your garden to be beautiful. All you need to do is pick flowers you like and check your local flyers for sales. It's always better to shop at local vendors whenever you can because the prices are most likely cheaper than big craft stores.

My dad always colour coordinates his garden. This year he's into red (I think it's because of his love for the Toronto Raptors) so he planted Geraniums (under $10 at Home Depot), Marigolds (under $10) and Snapping Dragons (under $5). There you have it a recipe for a beautiful garden for less than the cost of a dinner for two.

Now it's your turn.

How I stopped budgeting and learned to love the tracker

For most of my 20s, I didn’t give a shit about money. I worked a bunch of odd jobs, went to school (a lot), and travelled as much as possible. Money was just something that came and went. Never spent much time thinking about it.

“I went to college because I didn’t have anywhere else to go and it was a fabulous hang. And while I was there I was exposed to this world that I didn’t know was possible.” -- Tom Hanks

fun on college student budget