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The Garden Geeks Frugal Gardening Tips

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Recently we asked our fellow Garden Geeks to tell us what they do to help save money when they are planning, building and growing their gardens.  So many great ideas came in on our facebook page as well as in e-mails and on our website.  Here are some of your great ideas compiled into a great money saving list!

 

The Garden Geeks Top Tips on Saving Money in the Garden:

  • Save seeds from last year's garden.  It only takes one tomato to give you many seeds for next year.
  • Swap, exchange, and share seeds with friends, neighbors and fellow Garden Geeks. Join the Garden Geeks annual seed exchange in the fall.
  • Save twist ties from produce and bread to tie up plants in the garden.
  • Learn to propagate by cuttings, a very fast and free way to get more plants!
  • Divide and replant as plants get too big.
  • Use feed bags, pine needles, leaves or old newspapers as mulch in the rows between plants to cut back on weeding.
  • Help a friend or neighbor in their garden in exchange for clippings and divisions, a great way to help a friend and gain some plants.
  • Save kitchen scraps for composting, better then any commercial fertilizer and it's free!
  • Use an old Garbage Can for a compost bin
  • Use clean, clear plastic baggies from the store as mini greenhouses for young seedlings. Just slip them over the plant making them a little tent.
  • Use clear plastic containers that salad greens come in make good little greenhouses or hotcaps for young plants, inside or out. Use them to start seeds or as a cover when temps get chilly outside.  Who needs those store bought plastic pots anyway?
  • Use Popsicle sticks, cut plastic jugs, old blinds, painted rocks, or sticks with a shaved end for plant markers.  A blind slat written on in pencil doesn't fade in the sun!
  • Use various containers from around the house for interesting planters.  Old boots, coffee cans, soda bottles, or anything that will hold soil and has drainage holes can work, as long as it doesn't rot easily.
  • Use household items to help with gardening.  Cinnamon is a great rooting hormone and is a fungicide as well.  GREAT TIP!
  • Learn how to care for your tools, sharpening and keeping them clean prolongs their life and will save you money in the long run.
  • Use old windows for a green house or cold frames.
  • Get more out of limited planting space by growing vertical, give vines a place to climb and crow plants in containers.
  • Use fallen or pruned branches from trees as stakes for plants.
  • Plant cover crops of legumes, such as fava beans or clover, in empty beds over the winter to build your soil.
  • Rotate crops to avoid soil depletion and troubles with pests and diseases.
  • Plants can be given extra light in a low light area if you place an old mirror behind it.  This works well when starting seedlings indoors.
  • Place soda bottles filled with dark liquid near heat-loving plants in early spring to absorb heat during the day and re-radiate it at night.
  • Root pruned plant branches to get started and share as gifts when they are healthy.
  • Bury banana peels in the soil around roses, a great fertilizer for growing plants.
  • Use cooled boiled vegetable water in your watering cans for watering plants. Your plants with love the small does of food they get with every water. 
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