Finance Lessons from Gardening

Posted by idawrites on March 19, 2009 in Finance, Food, Gardening |

So, I’ve embarked on another attempt at Square Foot Gardening. Last July, I shared a post about the challenges of square foot gardening. All in all, last year’s garden wasn’t much of a success. Of course, the challenges I had were more symptoms than the real problem. So, where did my gardening go wrong?

Too Late

I started my seeds in late April. Of course, I had no idea that that was way too late in the Georgia growing season to start my garden. By the time the plants should have been ready to harvest, they were just struggling to get started in the hot Atlanta sun.

What am I doing differently this year? I read the back of the seed packets and started my seeds indoors according to the directions. Right now, it’s 3 weeks before Georgia’s “Last Frost” and I’ve got healthy seedlings everywhere getting ready to plant outdoors.

How is this a finance lesson? Simple. If you wait until times are tough (or hot) to start trying to get your finances in order (garden growing), you’re going to find that it’s a lot more effort for a lot less benefit.

Too Much

Last year, I planted every seed in every packet. What I ended up with was far too many seedlings for my square foot gardens. Not knowing any better (and without researching it like I should have), I planted every single one anyway. The plants ended up being too crowded to grow and thrive. I got some really great cherry tomatoes and some lettuce early in the season… but the onions never grew… the pepper plants produced a few very small weak peppers… and I never got decent tomatoes.

What am I doing differently this year? Well, I’ve planted each individual seed in the peat pellets. I also only planted 6 to 12 of each type of plant. This will give us a large variety of plants in our limited space.

As soon as the roots start poking through the bottom, I am transplanting the seedlings into larger pots so they could spread out. So far, the tomatoes are looking fabulous… as are the zucchini and butternut squash, the bell peppers, and some yummy basil.

How is this a finance lesson? Doing anything, or a LOT of something, without research will just end up making you overwhelmed and ineffective. Pick one step at a time; learn all you can about it, and do it well … then build on that. Five or Six things producing huge results will always be better than 40 or 50 producing little to nothing.

What about you?

What finance lessons have you learned from everyday living? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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