|Gaillardia from a Discount Rack|
5 Ways to Save Money on the Garden!
- Let's start with an important one that I mention often - compost! Compost is composed of a humongous number of living organisms that bring life to the soil. They break down big stuff and make it into small stuff that plants can use. What is that stuff? Nutrients and elements that range from nitrogen to small tiny micronutrients important for plant health. And don't forget what compost does for water retention and regulation! Compost is easy to make, just set a pile of compostable materials in an inconspicuous location and continue to add organic matter! Keep out stuff that draws vermin like meats and dairy while balancing green and brown materials as evenly as you can. Turn as often as you can to speed up the process. Of course I don't do that nearly as often as I should! It works even then! (Just slower.)
- Visit plant swaps! There's one this weekend at Henry Horton State Park that I used to go to until my daughters joined dance class and have had recitals every year scheduled on the same day. Plant swaps are a great opportunity to unload your extras and bring home something new. Every swap is a little different so check out the rules first and see what you can and can't bring. Swaps are a great way to deck out a barren landscape. Often there are plants people don't want to bring home that no one wants - maybe you do though! Be careful because many of the plants could be invasive or aggressive in your garden.
- The discount racks are another way to garden cheap. I visit them regularly to bring home new varieties I can nurse back to help. Often they aren't in bad shape at all but just need to be cleared out for new stock. Last week I brought home two 'Guacamole' hostas from the rack for $2 each. I divided one into three plants and planted the other. Which ends up being $1 per hosta! Pretty cool! This brings up number 4...
- Propagate! Division, cuttings, and seeds are all really great ways to save money. If you have friends with a plant you like ask to get a division of it next time they divide it or get cuttings or seed form it if appropriate. Making cuttings of plants you want to plant enmass is a great way to save on a new garden bed.
- Rain barrels probably come to mind first and their great but sometimes saving water is more about using your water efficiently! Water deeply when you water and water less often. Plants generally don't want to be soggy (unless they do ;)) and will grow better if they stretch out their roots to find the water deeper in the soil. Mulching around your plants is also great to retain moisture in the soil.
How do you like to save money in the garden?