It seems like every spring I run short of cash when it comes to my garden. With seed buying, potting soil, containers, and what ever else happens to come up, I try and look for inexpensive solutions where I can. I thought I would do a post on ways you can save money when it comes to your garden. I may add to the list as I find more ideas so check back often. (By the way, this is more for my benefit so I can find all these great ideas in one spot easily. )
Seed Starting (make sure you cut holes in the bottom of your containers for drainage)
Egg cartons – top and bottom.
Milk jugs – cut off the top part of the jug.
Butter tubs, yogurt containers, plastic salad boxes, etc. You can also use these to make plant markers. Cut the sides down into strips, cut the ends to a point if desired then write what the plant is in a Sharpie.
News paper – Make a newspaper pot
Line your pots or containers with 6-8 sheets of newspaper to help them retain moisture so they won’t need to be watered as much. (wish I had seen this before starting my herbs)
To test for viability, place 10 seeds on a moist paper towel, and set the towel inside a plastic bag. Put the bag in a warm spot, and check it every three or four days. If fewer than half the seeds germinate, throw out the packet and order more.
Homemade Fertilizer Recipes
Save the water you cook potatoes and pasta in. Once cooled to room temperature you can water your plants with it.
Use the water from your fish tank next time you clean it to water plants.
Make tea for your plants by soaking compost, rabbit droppings or worm castings in water for a day. Strain and water your plants with.
Use crushed eggshells around tender plants to kill slugs and fertilize your soil at the same time.
Use the water from making hard boiled eggs to water your tomato plants.
Stale coffee and coffee grounds make great organic fertilizer. They provide many trace minerals and low, gentle levels of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous.
If you don’t have access to horse or cow manure, put moist grass clippings into a black trash bag and let them sit in the sun for several weeks. Use as you would manure in your gardens or let some soak in water for a day to make a tea as shown above.
Make your own Worm Bin.
Shred leaves with your mower and collect in a bag to add to your compost pile. Layer with grass clippings or kitchen waste. In the fall you can cover your garden beds with shredded leaves – the worms will love you for it and you will love the presents the worms leave for your garden.
Keep an old blender on the counter and fill it with veggie and fruit scraps and when it is full, fill with water, left over coffee, and blend until smooth. Then take it to the garden and pour it between the plants. Compost tea! No waiting for it to break down in the compost pile.
In the Garden
Use old pantyhose or tee shirts cut in strips to tie up your plants on trellises.
Save cardboard tubes from paper towel and toilet paper rolls to put around your plants at the base to keep cut worms and other pests off your plant. You can also use them to start seeds.
Use empty milk jugs or soda bottles to water your plants. Put some holes in the bottom of your container, bury it next to your plants leaving the top open for filling with water then fill as needed. Simple drip irrigation.
A good soaking of water less often is better than a light sprinkling every day – for veggies and for your lawn.
Share plants with your friends and neighbors. Many plants can be started by cuttings or by thinning.
Plant marigolds in your vegetable garden. They will attract insects that eat aphids and other pests.
Lay down old carpet or cardboard between your garden rows to cut down on weeds.
If you have any frugal tips to share – please do!
Until next time – Happy Gardening!