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Saving Money in College with a Dorm Room Garden

moneytreeCollege comes along with new expenses and saving money is on the mind of most college students. An indoor vegetable and herb garden can help save money in many ways; plus it can get you started on a journey to a new hobby and healthier living. We know that dorm room space is limited, so we are going to focus our tips on growing vegetables in a small space. When you grow some of your own food and herbs, it saves money since you will not have to buy them and makes organic, healthy food free of pesticides or preservatives.

Here are the steps to take to achieve your indoor dorm garden goal:

  • Decide what types of vegetables you want to start growing that will fit in small spaces. You can always consult with a garden expert at your local store or nursery to see if there are certain things that grow better in your climate and for the space you have. You can also often find instructions on seed packets you purchase. Make sure that you can keep up with appropriate watering schedule for the plants you choose.
    • Oregano – besides adding great flavor to pizza and Italian dishes, this herb keeps bugs away.
    • Basil – This bright green plant with shiny broad leaves thrives in warm weather. Basil is considered a staple in pasta sauce and summer salads; try making a homemade basil pesto.
    • Rosemary – It’s easy to grow this hardy herb bush with woody branches. No indoor kitchen garden is complete without Rosemary. Known for the piney aroma similar to Christmas trees. The needle-like leaves emit the piney aroma of Christmas trees. Rosemary pairs well with roasted meat and savory breads, and it creates a wonderful aroma that stimulates the appetite.
    • Radishes – Many root vegetables are a challenge to grow indoors, but radishes are one of the exceptions; especially round or globe varieties that do not root very deeply, grow well in boxes, troughs and pans. Round carrots also do well with the same treatment.
    • Potatoes – Seed tubers used for outdoor plantings are easily grown in large pots, buckets or even plastic sacks. When planting the tubers, leave space at the top of the container for adding more compost to earth up the plants as they develop. Get ready for some tasty potatoes.
    • Mushrooms – Mushrooms are an ideal indoor crop for any time of year. Prepared bags of special compost with mushroom spawn only need watering before being left in a draft-free, dark place such as an attic or cupboard. Keep at 50 to 60ºF (10 to 15ºC) and mushrooms should be cropping a few weeks later.
    • Make a space for your garden. If you have a window, then that is probably the ideal space to put your indoor garden, however it is not necessary to have sunlight, you can choose vegetable and herbs that work around that. Add warm fluorescent lighting, even plants that get sunlight can also benefit from lighting.
    • Gather containers to plant your seeds. Recycling and reusing containers is the least expensive and environmentally friendly way to grow your garden. Yogurt containers, egg cartons, cans, and bottles can made great planters. There are always inexpensive ones to purchase if you have that in your budget and want a uniform look to the garden.
    • Get the soil ready. Preparing the perfect soil is much easier for indoor gardens than their outdoor counterparts because you’re dealing with a lot less space. Use a seed-starting or sterile potting mix right out of the bag. To maintain the soil with rich nutrients that are all natural, use compost from left-over food waste instead of throwing it away.
    • Keep out bugs, bacteria, and other problems with all natural Neem Oil. That is plant-based oil made from need trees, which you can get organically grown. It contains natural estrogen-like chemicals that kills off viruses, bacteria, fungus as well as repel bugs and other pests.

     

About the Author:

Today’s guest article comes from Amanda Greene. She is a blogger and Brand Manager for RHL, a premiere source for online dorm bedding. She enjoys writing about tips and ideas for dorm life and college living.

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2 Responses to “Saving Money in College with a Dorm Room Garden”

  1. Wow, this is such a great idea. I have never heard of this before. It’s even giving me some ideas of how to promote other ways students can save money. Thanks for a great article.

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