How do you save money gardening?

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  #1  
Old 04-05-02, 05:12 PM
Gami
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How do you save money gardening?

Hi All,

I don't have time to write much, but wanted to mention a few things I use for a long time.

It amazes me sometimes what you find at garage sales. Some people evidently can't see beyond what it was originally intended for.

I love to come across cat litter boxes for 50 cents. I mix up potting soils, pot up plants in them so I don't spill everything all over, use them for watering trays, and numerous other things unrelated to gardening.

Tupperware containers (all sizes) are good for storing fertilizers (especially the ones sold in boxes that can get wet), seed starting trays, etc.

Kids sleds and saucers--I love these. Before I got a trailer for our Grasshopper, I set plants on them and drug them around the yard when planting. I now put soil from planting holes in them rather than on the grass. I towed firewood to the house with them, lots of other things, and actually used them for sledding.

I use old cake pans, any shape, for plant saucers. I also use them for stepping stone molds.

Better get back to the cleaning. Argh!

I'd love to hear what the rest of you use.

Gami
 
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  #2  
Old 04-06-02, 02:26 PM
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Hi Gami

Surprised you forgot composting - we get about 1-2 cubic yards back per season (but it's a pain to sift - hopefully that shaker table we talked about before will happen before it's time to sift again.... )

Rainbarrels help keep watering cost down a bit (at least when we can catch enough to make a difference) and we use ~12" diameter logs cut into 6" pieces as stepping stones in our gardens.

Found some cafeteria trays at the local Dollar store for under a buck each which work great under our starter pots of seedlings. And we make the started pots with newspaper using a little gadget that Marie found at Lee Valley. (already posted this link on the Chipmunks thread, but here it is again):

http://www.leevalley.com/garden/page...urrency=2&SID=

Here's a few more - Ever tried planting up annuals in old work boots, or put impatiens in a barrel in a sunny location with a kiddie's umbrella in the middle to provide the shade...

(And even though it's not part of gardening, Blue loves to throw around and chew on balls made from our old socks... )

How's that?...

Howie
 
  #3  
Old 04-06-02, 03:23 PM
florajo
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You guys are so clever!!! Here's a couple:

Styrofoam meat trays (like meat comes in at the supermarket) make good plant saucers, too.

Save broken pieces of clay pots, broken bricks, etc. to put in the bottom of your planters to increase drainage, and keep your soil from slowing sifting out the drain hole in the bottom.

I use paper egg cartons (not the styrofoam kind) for little seed starting pots. You can cut apart the little compartments and plant the whole thing. The paper will compost once planted.

(Well, that wasn't a couple...it was three...)

 
  #4  
Old 04-06-02, 06:04 PM
ByronB
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Find a landscaper, you can get all the used pots you can use for zip.
 
  #5  
Old 04-07-02, 01:25 AM
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Here's a couple more

For wood chips, try asking your local Parks & Rec or a tree contractor if they are chipping in your area - often they are looking for a place to get rid of their chips (just be careful and ask if there is any disease in the wood before you have them dump the chips). Also, many municipalities have free compost seasonally - once again, check with Parks & Rec or Public Works (you may have to bag and haulit yourself, but it IS free! ).

To check how much water you are putting down on your lawn, put a half dozen tuna tins or juice cans at different points on your lawn (an inch a week should be more than enough to sustain most turf).

Keep the list (and your gardens) growing!

Howie
 
  #6  
Old 04-07-02, 08:33 AM
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Hi Gami,
Lets see, I'm really not sure I've saved any money gardening:
Troy-Bilt tiller, 31 cu. ft. freezer, fiberglass handled garden tools, and so on.
Here's a few tricks anyway -
In lieu of buying wooden tomato stakes (they rot off and give splinters): I've invested in the lighter-duty green steel fence posts. They may be close to two dollars each, but they’ll last for many, many years.

The bottom of all my pots get a styrafoam plate cut to size. When I have to dump it later or next year I don’t have to pick out the gravel or whatever.

I always place my tomato stakes in the garden before my plants. Then, if there is a chance of a last light frost, simply poke a small hole in paper bags and run down the stake to cover young plants. The ground heat and bag will protect the plants
fred
 
  #7  
Old 04-07-02, 07:47 PM
keziah
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My money saving gardening goal this year:

-Don't buy every plant you see!

Seriously, if you have an odd dish out of a set, saucers can be used for plant saucers, old stoneware bowls make good planters, so do teacups.

Old plastic soda bottles can be turned into mini greenhouses to start seeds by cutting off the bottom about 4 inches, Fill all but about an inch with pearlite, soak pearlite in warm water a couple hours, drain, sprikle seeds on top, sprinkle with just enough pearlite to cover, then place the top of the bottle back on (take the lid off for a vent) and place in a window, seedlings are then easliy moved to a more permenant home.
 
  #8  
Old 04-07-02, 08:20 PM
Gami
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HI All,

I'm glad to see you responded. I have a few more ideas, but I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes because my son went home. Just wanted to check in. We celebrated his birthday--he's turning 36.

I think Fred hit the nail on the head; it takes awhile for gardening to be free. You have to buy all this equipment, etc., etc., BUT the joy it brings makes up for the expense.

Howie, the blue soap barrels are ready and waiting!

Byron is a man of few words, but I can't believe he had a one sentence reply.

Florajo, I'm going to start saving those meat trays. I use those styrofoam peanuts in the bottom of pots to make them lighter.

Kristi (Keziah), great advice. I've started severaly trays of seeds this year, and if I break down and buy any...

Gami
 
  #9  
Old 04-08-02, 07:46 AM
Rusty Can
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Hi all ...
This post was great! Like most of you know, my veggie garden will not happen this year ... due to some fencing challenges. However, thought I would start some veggies from seed just to see if I can actually do it ... I like the egg crate idea and the soda bottle thing ... hmmmm, I had heard that these things would work, but never really paid attention to "how" it was done ... so here goes nothing!

So in an effort to contribute, at estate sales you can find some interesting stuff if you really look ... last summer I went to a estate sale in my neighborhood, here's what I found:

1) Brand new 6ft ladder

2) Three boxes of Miracle Grow (Multlie packs! I figure these alone were worth about $30.00)

3) Two weed pokes (those long slender things!)

All of the above for the bargain price of $15.00 ... not too bad, huh??

Not quite as creative as the egg crates or using the meat trays ... but I like I said, I was just trying to contribute!

~The Rusty Can
 
  #10  
Old 04-08-02, 08:23 AM
ByronB
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Rusty Can

As you experience growing things you will find the MG is not
the best deal,

High nitrogen fertilizers are the cause of many plant problems

The only place it's any good is in sandy soils.

Food service trays like from salad bars make a good mini greenhouse, Holds about 12 jiffy 9's

Tomato post, I cut my trash trees,

5 gal pickle buckets from deli for a million and 1 uses

Panty hose for staking and straining chemicals

Composted manure for fertilizer, If you make manure tea from 1 bag of composte manure for 1.50 to 2.00 ( or end of year sale for
50 cents) you can make about 6,000 gallons.

I grow a couple pepper plants for my cow manure, 2 pints of peppers get a couple cu yds of cow manure delivered.

Perfer wood handle tools, A little boiled linseed oil on the handles once a year make them last your lifetime.

Byron
 
  #11  
Old 04-08-02, 08:24 AM
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Hey guys...
Thought I'd jump in here...

The soda bottle thing works great! Good call Kristi! I've done it before However, common sense tells me that because the egg crate is made out of cardboard, it will decompose a lot sooner than you want it to if you water it "too much"... Just a personal opinion...

As far as saving money, those are all great ideas! I have, and still do, use old saucers as drip trays. They work wonders.

Eric
 
  #12  
Old 04-08-02, 11:49 AM
florajo
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Hi all! What great ideas from everyone! I DO like the idea of using the styrofoam peanuts in pots, Gami, but I don't always have them available....usually DO have some broken clay pots around! LOL

You're right, Bomber...those cardboard egg cartons do compost pretty quickly. They seem to last just about as long as the little peat pots you buy.... If you're lucky, just long enough for the little sprouts to get big enough to put in the ground!!

I make regular trips to the "Goodwill" (or other places like that) to scavenge for interesting containers (that may not have that intended use originally!) I love howie's idea of the old boot!
 
  #13  
Old 04-08-02, 11:58 AM
ByronB
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Thumbs down

Florajo

styrofoam peanuts, That was a Martha Stewart thing.

If you try to save your soil you will be cussing this move,

I still don't have them all out from 5 years ago.






Byron
 
  #14  
Old 04-08-02, 01:18 PM
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Byron,
Styrafoam peanuts (aka Ghost poo).
Not for me either, sometimes I just dump a large pot of old soil in the garden - don't want to dig anything out. That's why I swithced to a sty picnic plate. One reach and it's back in he bottom of the pot.
I'm rough on tools (large rocks) so I don't have wood handles any more. I break them and leave 'em out in the weather too much.
fred
 
  #15  
Old 04-08-02, 01:28 PM
ByronB
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I use leaves in the bottom of pots, Gets them started decomposing.

Rocks, Should try some of these granite boulders.


Byron
 
  #16  
Old 04-08-02, 01:31 PM
Rusty Can
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Unhappy

Byron ...
You must have miss understood me ... just said that fo$15.00 it wasn't such a bad deal

~The Rusty Can
 
  #17  
Old 04-08-02, 03:45 PM
Gami
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I do like the styrofoam peanuts for the bottom of big pots, but I place a piece of plastic on top and poke holes in it for drainage. I also use aluminum cans in the bottom of pots--plastic on top.

Does anybody have a use for old hoses? All I do is cut them in pieces, make a slit in them and slip over handles of pails. Surely there are other uses.

Check garage sales for tools. The older tools are generally better made.

Today MS used those clear, hard plastic drink glasses, cut the bottom out and put a slit in it and used it for a collar for plants. The plastic glass went quite a ways up on the seedlings and SHE said it would help keep birds from pecking at your plants, let light in, and of course, they are a cutworm collar. They could be stacked and saved each year.

If you start seeds, once you set your first plantings out, you could start some perennials. They don't usually bloom until the 2nd year so can be planted anytime, or all summer long as long as you get them in the ground in the fall before cold weather hits..or direct seed throughout the summer.

Gami
 
  #18  
Old 04-08-02, 06:00 PM
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Hi Gami

We used to use 3/8" rubber hose cut int 8" pieces as net pegs to hold hockey nets in place on the ice (yup - I drive a Zamboni sometimes, too! ) - nothing to do with gardening, but you asked about other uses...

When staking trees, a length of hose over the wire will protect the trunk from being cut. Also used pieces to slip over the tynes of forks, or split over knives and saws to protect the tools (and myself) when transporting or storing.

Howie
 
  #19  
Old 05-13-02, 10:39 AM
Gami
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Some tips from the GW folks -

http://forums3.gardenweb.com/forums/...250325109.html

Gami
 
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