smart spending

7 ingredients of a money-saving garden

Containers or raised beds
5 of 9

Gardening doesn't have to mean bending over a hoe. You can adapt your home's garden to your lifestyle.

Containers are a great option for first-time gardeners, Smith says. His advice is to use three or four large containers -- 22 inches in diameter or larger -- along with saucers underneath (which cuts down on watering), he says.

If you want to take the next step beyond containers, try raised beds, Smith says. Not only are they easier to weed and easier on the back, but they look tidy and "you can do some fun designs with them in the backyard," he says.

Pro tip: Smith uses untreated wood for the beds. Favorites include western cedar, Spanish cedar, redwood and cypress.

The beds will be about 7 inches above the ground, "and you'll dig down under that another 3 inches," says Smith. So the entire bed is about 10 inches deep. And just as with any other garden area, you want to prep the soil and "you want soil that is very loose," he says.




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