I love to garden, and I have been gardening for years.
I love to grow everything; I have vegetables, flowers, some fruit bushes and trees, and herbs.
I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out ways of saving time and money while maintaining healthy gardens, and here is a list of 10 tips that I think you will find useful.
1. Mulch is an important part of your garden. It helps keeps the weeds out, and it helps keep the plants warm, watered, and safe. In order to make my mulch even more effective, I save old newspapers for a week or 2, and I make use of it before I mulch. I have found that laying layers of newspaper down before mulching is a great way to maximize the potential of your mulch. This means that you will not need as much to be effective. This tip is eco-friendly and good for your garden.
2. Another way to save money and maximize your growing season is by starting seeds indoors in the late winter. Many seeds can be started indoors such as tomatoes, dill, peppers, beans, snapdragons, and daisies. Seeds are much cheaper than buying already grown plants, and they can usually be found sold 5 for a dollar at your local dollar store.
3. I always start my seeds indoors in February, and I find this is fun because by the end of the Christmas season I am in desperate need of some gardening. I use empty soda and water bottles to start my seeds. I simply cut them in half and plant in the part with the cap. I will also put holes in the cap, and rest the plant in the other half of the bottle. This lower empty half can be filled with water so that the plant will water itself.
4. Another way of saving money and time on plants is by growing perennials. Perennials will constantly grow back, and they will come back bigger than the year before. Perennials are amazing, and they can be separated in the fall and planted in other areas to keep your gardens expanding. Many fruit bushes are perennials such as raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Some great perennial flowers are lilies, hostas, irises, mums, and daisies. Many herbs are perennials as well, and they will grow quite large.
5. Trading plants are a great way of getting plants for cheap. If you see a plant you like approach the owner. A nice garden suggests that the person is proud of their work, and they will be open to talk about their garden. If you are growing perennials or have an abundance of seedlings started in your house you can ask for a trade. I have accumulated many plants this way. There are also many websites where you can trade plants. All you have to do is pay for shipment.
6. Another way of getting free plants is to check your local area. Different areas have different natural flowers. I have procured many daisies and tiger lilies from my area. When you are digging up these plants just remember to leave some in the area so that these perennials can grow back. I also find it useful to bring some plastic bags with wet paper towels already placed in them. This will keep the plants watered while you are transplanting them. The plants can be left in these for some time before being planted.
7. There are many things found in the garbage or around the home that can be used in your garden. I use old pieces of lattice or wood for my beans to grow on. Old chair frames are also good for this purpose and they can be tied and staked to the ground.
8. Another money-saving device is using old barrels and garbage cans to water your garden. Set them up on the highest elevation of your garden, and cut a small hole on the top of the garbage can.
Invert it and rest it on the garbage pail. This will allow for maximum rain gathering and storing potential. This water can be transferred into pails, or it can be transferred to the garden by attaching spickets to the bottom of the pail and hoses that run along your garden.
The spicket can then be turned on and the garden will be watered from the pressure of the elevated garbage can.
Gardens are a lot of fun, and they provide beauty and nourishment, but they can be costly and time-consuming.
These tips will help you maintain a lovely and productive garden in a timely and inexpensive manner.