Planting a vegetable garden can be a frugal and healthy way to feed your family, but not if you fork over big bucks for supplies and then end up with slim pickins at harvest time. Reap the most from what you sow with these savvy tips from Parents magazine:
• Locate used garden tools in thrift shops or on craigslist.com or freecycle.com. Or use old utensils like spoons and scoops for digging.
• Start seeds indoors on your windowsill. Use cleaned-out orange or grapefruit halves as planters that you can put right into the ground.
• Begin with the easy stuff, such as beans, lettuce, carrots and radishes. Tomatoes and corn, by contrast, require more maintenance.
• Place sheets of newspaper between rows of seedlings and cover with mulch. This is a cheap and effective way to kill weeds.
• Make your own fertilizer by composting grass clippings, coffee grounds, eggshells and other nonmeat food scraps.
• Freeze or can vegetables if you grow more than you can eat. Or share your bounty with a local soup kitchen or food pantry.