Saturday, May 13, 2006

Frugal Gardening?

The weather has been pretty good out here. The nurseries have opened for business. Lowe's, Walmart and Home Depot are all trying to sell you lots of gardening supplies. Just wanted to give you some tips on a few ways to save money....

Before you buy those expensive little disposable greenhouses (the plastic ones that have a container and a lid), let me give you a tip. Do you ever buy baked goods from your local supermarket? Do you buy cheesecake, pies or cakes? Before you throw those plastics in the recycle bin ...think again. Those plastics containers can be used exactly like those little greenhouses. I use them and can tell you, they work! Just plant your seeds the way you normally do, and then put the little containers in the plastic and cover it. It works just as well and you are recycling and re-using to save the environment.

This next tip amazed me. I always thought that it couldn't be done. One year, my ex-husband bought these deliciously sweet huge bright red tomatoes. They were from Spain. He decided to cut one up, take out the seeds and plant them in potting soil, in a plastic pie container. I never thought they would grow. Not only did they grow, I planted them outside and we had tomatoes all season! Everyone loved them, they were exquisite. We paid once for the tomatoes and got them free the rest of the season! To make your tomatoes even sweeter, put a circle of sugar around the base of each plant. I saw this on a program many years ago and it really works.

My roses are growing. Insects are already munching on their leaves. What is an inexpensive solution? Diluted dishwashing detergent does the trick! Why spend tons of money on special sprays? Go to the supermarket or dollar store, buy inexpensive dishwashing detergent for $1.00, mix with water and spray them on your rose bushes. It works.

My previous neighbor used to grow avocado plants from the pit! They were beautiful. Why pay exorbitant prices at a nursery? How did she grow them? She put two toothpicks on either side of the middle of the pit. Then she perched it in a glass of water, so that the water just touched the bottom of the pit. The rest of the pit was being held above the water by the toothpicks. Next she placed them in the dark cabinet. Once they sprouted she put them in direct sunlight. They grew beautifully. They may not give you avocados, but they make beautiful decorative plants.

There you have it! I hope you enjoyed the tips!


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