Everyday Gardeners

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Money-Saving Ideas

escoverThe current issue of Garden Ideas & Outdoor Living has a piece that is near and dear to my heart: The Frugal Gardener, 30 Ways to Save Money. Here are a few examples from the story:

• Grow a cut-flower garden behind the garage or in some other out-of-the-way spot where you won’t notice wholesale harvesting. Bring the bouquets to work in lieu of store-bought arrangements (they’re great conversation pieces) or present them to loved ones as “thinking of you” gifts.

• Collect pine cones to use as ornamental toppers for potted plants. They’re also great for starting campfires.

• Use rapid-growing perennials such as Jerusalem artichoke, Joe-Pye weed, and boltonia for instant height while waiting for smaller trees and shrubs to mature.

And here are some other tips, courtesy of the National Gardening Association (garden.org).

Plant Four-Season Shrubs — Select shrubs that look interesting four seasons of the year. Viburnum and serviceberry are both shrubs with alluring spring flowers, attractive summer fruits, colorful fall foliage, and striking bark texture and color. Avoid plants like forsythia that are stars for one just season and nondescript during the rest of the year.

Share with Your Neighbors — Consider renting a tiller, lawn aerator, or chipper shredder with a neighbor. Buy bulk compost or bark mulch together and split the load. Coordinate what you plant in your vegetable gardens so you can share the extra produce in winter.

Divide, Conquer, and Share — Growing perennial instead of annual flowers reduces your seasonal expense of buying new seeds and plants. To expand your perennial garden divide overgrown plants, such as daylilies, iris, and hosta, and make new flowerbeds. Trade extra perennials with friends or organize a plant swap in your neighborhood.

Visit Yard Sales — Well-maintained tools can be used for years and they’re often inexpensive at yard sales. You may find containers and other garden supplies, too. Also check out craigslist.com and Goodwill.

Collect Rainwater — In areas where water is expensive and scarce, invest in rain barrels (or old garbage cans) to catch the water off your roof. Rainwater is free, and it has no municipal additives (which may harm some plants).

Mulch with Cardboard and Newspaper — To reduce the amount of mulch you buy, spread layers of newspaper or cardboard on garden paths. Then top with free wood chips you’ve obtained from municipal dumps or local arborists.

One Response to “ Money-Saving Ideas ”

  1. Dear Mr. Miller,
    This is a great issue. You touched on peonies, and I am hoping that with your knowlege, you would give us more information on peonies. I loved the small article you have for us….but want to know more about the planting and growth of this stunning flower. I bought the roots in a bag. I went to plant them and did not know what side to place up, or down!;) With a guesstimate, I just did what I thought was right. This is year two, and I’m hoping to see something impressive. Please , Please, consider another artical on planting these beautiful flowers…Thanks!!Yvonne

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