Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Saving money on garden supplies

It has been quite some time since I have posted to my blogs . . . this blog was started somewhere else and I am still in the process of moving blogs and getting on with my life at the same time. I've still not gotten out in the garden yet and my intentions have been good regarding my carport jungle, however, real life has taken precedence over plants. Even Martha Stewart would say that it is a "good thing" . . .


The following article came from one of my favorite websites, RealSimple . . . I've added my thoughts to various topics.

Stick with one tool.
Part knife and part trowel, a hori hori knife is a gardener’s best friend. Use it to plant, to grub, and to remove deep-rooted weeds. Buying tools for those specific jobs can cost around $40.

Cash in on compost. “Many municipalities pick up yard waste and turn it into free compost,” says Ross. Ask the office of your town if your community participates.

Composting in the past has yielded some awesome tomato and pepper plants . . . the soil makes a huge difference in the quality of plants and vegetables for me . . . and I have saved lots of money by composting and taking advantage of the sandy soil natural to my area. Perlite purchased in huge bags to save money assists in making the soil "lighter," allowing for better drainage and encouraging root growth. More on composting and soil recipes in future posts.

Purchase cell packs. Buying one large marigold plant for $8 can give your garden a head start, but a four-pack of smaller ones costs half the price and each of the tiny plants will grow to the size of the large one in just a few weeks.

A better idea to save money is starting plants from seed. Once your plants are established, learn how to harvest seeds from the flowers to save even more money year after year.

Plant tough varieties. Daylilies, asters, and hostas are all vigorous and low-maintenance, which means you won’t have to make another trip to the nursery for replacements.

Do some research to find out which varieties work best in your area . . . it makes a huge difference when you have plants that come up year after year. Visit my website DonitaWorld.com which lists many links for specific areas to get you started.

Attach a timer to the spigot. A sprinkler or a soaker hose left running wastes a lot of water. Spend $15 now on a mechanical water timer (homedepot.com) and save on tomorrow’s water bills.

Buy native flora. After one season, they’re completely established, so a nasty freeze shouldn’t zap them. Purchase cone flowers (native in much of the country), or do some research to learn what grows naturally in your region.

I've found that native plants flourish with neglect since I have pretty much abandoned yard work since my husband passed away. Those native plants are acclimated to growing naturally in your specific area . . . take advantage of them!

Hope everyone is keeping busy in your gardens and keeping your hands dirty . . . I'll be joining you soon!
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