Thursday, February 25, 2010

Spring Gardening On A Dime!

It's almost that time again to start planning your spring garden, during my research to find out what's new, what worked last year and what didn't, I came across some really helpful tips on how to save money while turning out the best garden you can. I will definatly be using some of these tips this year in some of my gardens and I encourage you to take a look at them and see if any of the tips can help you save a dime or two. Happy planning!

Grow your own from seed.
Keep seeds back from the previous season from flowers and vegetables that grew in your garden. Allow the seeds to dry (to prevent mildew over winter) and place in separate bags, well labeled. Store somewhere that is warm and dry over winter. As spring gets closer, plant the seeds in seedling trays and keep indoors near a window that gets a lot of sunshine. Water and tend to them regularly and you will get a head start on the new season's plantings.
2Strike cuttings.
If you fancy plants in someone else's garden, ask if you can take cuttings to strike your own. Many gardeners are very pleased to be asked this. Botanical gardens often have mid-winter pruning clear outs in rose gardens, etc. Phone up to ask when this happening and to see whether members of the public can get cuttings from these tidy-ups.
Once the likelihood of frost has cleared, take the seedlings outdoors and continue watering them in their trays. Do this for a week or two, to help them transition from the indoor environment to the outdoor one.
4Create a garden plan on paper.
As with a shopping list curtailing overspending in the store, a garden plan curtails purchasing of whims when you go to the garden center. Draw in the flowers, the vegetables, the ornamentals, the decorations, etc. that you'd like in your garden this year, in their exact places. This plan will guide you on buying "just enough" and no more (and don't forget to combine with the plants that you're growing yourself).
5Keep an eye on garden sales in catalogs.
When the sales are on, this is an excellent time to buy the sale items in bulk. Naturally, only buy what you will use but have an eye for a good bargain, including for updating/replacing, etc. new garden tools, hoses, netting, etc.
6Buy plants that have been reduced due to lack of adequate attention.
In some garden centers, there will be a section of plants that haven't been adequately cared for, going for a song. If you've a green thumb and you can identify the likelihood of successfully salvaging these plants back to health, these can make incredible bargains.
7Make your own garden decorations.
Rather than buying decorative items for the garden, recycle and reuse household items to create new and amazing garden sculptures, feature pieces, water elements, etc. Be as imaginative as you'd like and rope the kids in to help too. They can have great fun making a dinosaur garden with their toys, a fairy garden with their fairies, an animal garden for their pets, etc.

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