I love this time of year! Time to get those plants out into the garden. You know you've been thinking about it all winter so let's get started. Here are ten garden tips to help you save some money.
Frugal Garden Tip #1: Plan Before you Buy
Plan everything out so plants and seeds do not go to waste. Research the plants that you want so you don’t end up buying a shady plant for a sunny spot – if it dies then it is not only money down the drain, it is also more work you will have to do later! If you plan early enough you can start from seed instead of purchasing started plants, which will also save you money.
Cheap Garden Tip #2: Shop Online
Check out Mr. Rebates or Ebates for money saving coupons and rebates. The company will ship it to you when it is time to plant so there is no guesswork there and you will save money. Both sites keep track of current coupons that can be combined with site rebates (the rebate will go into your account and you can transfer it via paypal or check from there).
Frugal Garden Tip #3: Check your local Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
Arboretums and Botanical gardens usually have special sales a few times a season on plants that are well taken care of. The staff is also knowledgeable and willing to help you out. Here in Tucson you can also find some great native plant deals at the Desert Museum (specific days of the year).
Low Cost Garden Tip #4: Share Garden Tool Costs
If you need to rent a tiller or other landscaping item (chipper, green waste dumpster, etc) then see if a neighbor, family member, or friend needs it too. Splitting the rental or purchasing cost or space can save a lot of money.
Frugal Garden Tip #5: Got Slugs? Kill them with beer
Fill beer in a small empty container (about the size of those throw away ziploc containers or a small butter tub). Dig down into the soil so the top of the container is flush with the ground. Leave it overnight and the slugs will drown in the liquid. Keep refilling it until you do not see any more slugs!
Money Saving Garden Tip #6: Use Native Plants
Native plants are easier to care for and hardier.
Frugal Garden Tip #7: Conserve Water
Often times you do not need to water. If you have to water then do it in the morning before the sun comes up. An even better option is to install a drip or DIY irrigation system.
Cheap Garden Tip #8: Create your Own Compost
Turn your kitchen scraps and waste into compost and use that in your garden. It is cheap, saves the landfills, and will be beneficial for your plants. You can use this handy DIY underground composting system or try your hand at vermicomposting.
Frugal Garden Tip #9: Line the Garden Beds with Newspaper
Newspaper will help keep the weeds back, but will decompose (unlike plastic liners).
Frugal Garden Tip #10: DIY Cheap Insecticide
This works well on flowers. 1-2% baking soda mixed in water with a small amount of Safer’s Insecticidal Soap
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