I’m poor. I’m a gardener. I resent, I despise, I loathe the notion that getting into gardening is an expensive venture. How dare you? How dare you rob others of the idea that they can be a gardener just because of their financial state? I’m here to tell you the good news–the people who tell you that are wrong…assuming you have access to dirt.
What kind of dirt? Any. Literally any kind of dirt. There are a variety of plants that thrive in poor soil; too many to list here, in fact. My personal recommendation is radishes, since a new and up-and-coming gardener needs a win their first harvest, and they practically grow themselves, even in Alabama summer heat (though they might bolt during this time, but I personally see that as a win! Free seeds!)
Now, if you have somewhere that sells things for around the one dollar mark, you’ve likely seen those little seed kiosks every spring that, god, they’re just free serotonin, aren’t they? Two for a dollar seed packets are a blessing upon this blighted earth. If you’ve never given it a look, hop onto the internet and check to see if there’s a Dollar Tree (everything’s a dollar) Dollar General (seed kiosk seeds are two for a dollar), or if there’s basically anywhere in your area that has cheap or free seeds. Hell, some grocery store seeds are viable, despite what we’ve been told! If you’re feeling adventurous, why not search the web for your local forageables and transplant a few bad boys? Why should that be seen as any different from purchasing started plants from a nursery?
As for equipment, you don’t really need a dollar store for this one. Walmart has sucked the life out of the USA, and its parasitic veins can be found all across the Hellscape of our states, feeding on the desperation of the common person like a leech; therefor, getting a Really Big Spoon is dirt (heh) cheap. Yeah, I’m serious. Just a big spoon. Fork if you’re feeling fancy. All you need is something to move and soften the dirt. You can literally use your hands if you like. If you live near a thrift shop that isn’t the Salvation Army (because you’re a decent human being and don’t support anti-gay corporations) you can usually find kitchenware for a price that feels much more human than what you may find elsewhere in our late-capitalist Hellscape. Maybe even gardening stuff, but we’re working with the assumption you can’t afford that luxury and that the dollar store you visited didn’t have a trowel.
So, yeah. It still relies on luck, but there you have it. In the future, I might try to do a gardening experiment that replicates (what I assume) are the conditions of a New York apartment or other such Big Ol’ City, but for those of you who are lucky enough to not live in NYC or similar, go out there and find you some seeds, dirt, a spoon, and get to gardening.
OH, BEFORE YOU GO, here’s a quick tip: if you have access to grass, a liquid fertilizer can be made by steeping grass clippings in water for three days, stirring once per day. Make sure you have a lid for the container. It stinks to high heaven. This wasn’t really necessary for starting a garden, so it’s just a little tip I slipped you at the end for fun. Okay! Happy gardening!