gardenfaerie

Your favorite frugal gardening tip

gardenfaerie
February 27, 2004

Or "If you could pass on ONE tip on frugal gardening, what would it be?"

I'm in master gardener training and have decided that one of the ways I want to volunteer is to give talks on gardening. I've had pretty good reactions (no one fell asleep or threw anything at me!) to my talks on gardening for cats, but I better have a few presentations in my repertoire. And what do I love more than anything? Saving money and being clever in the garden, of course!

The thing is, so much of what I do feels "normal" to me that I don't even think of it as "frugal" (TM), so I'm asking for your help.

So here's your chance to communicate your wisdom without actually having to talk in front of a group! :)

Thanks, Monica

Comments (145)

  • gardnpondr

    ME TO on wanting a pickup truck!!!!
    my tip would be, for those of us that just can't grow seeds into nice plants, (I can if I plant them outside in the flower beds) watch Lowe's clearances!!! I racked up a couple weeks back on plants. I got 2 whole trays of petunias for 2.00 a tray. Then got 6" pots of salvas for .05 and marigolds for .10 and 6 cell packs of mexican heathers for .25 each.
    BUT I STILL want a pick up truck!!!!! BAD! ;)

  • auntnete

    Hello everyone, this is my first post and I think it belongs on this thread. I take the limbs that have been pruned fromn my apple, pear, and peach trees and break them down into manageable pieces and take them to the potting shed. Then I cut them down into 3-4" pieces. When I get a good handful I wrap them with raffia in the middle and give them as fragrant firestarters to friends. Around Christmas I give them as hostess gifts when we go to parties. I fill a large paper bag that I have decorated (presentation is everything) and they seem to love it. The other thing I do is take the cedar trees that have had to be taken down and run them through the chipper, I put them in mesh bags and put a bow around them then with same color ribbon I wrap a clothes hanger. Instant closet freshener. I hope someone can use these tips. Thank you so much for all your ideas!

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  • sunny631

    This needs to go back to the top. I have read each and every one of these great idea's and I think others would learn a lot if they did too. Great job everyone!!!

    Also put requests in on Freecycle. And check Craiglist often for free plants or seeds.

  • cottagegirl_tn

    My tip is overwintering some half hardy perennials indoors that are commonly used as "porch plants" in summer. They can get expensive to re-buy every year. My easiest ones have been angel wing begonias, common begonias, geraniums, variegated ivy and kimberly fern.
    Jennifer

  • natalie4b

    I buy plants very inexpensively on clearance racks in Lowes, HD, etc. If it is 75% off or more - it comes home with me.

  • gatormomx2

    Become a Master Gardener .
    I have been amazed at the kindness and generosity of MGs.
    We swap plants all the time along with pots and wood chips .
    MGs have some incredible tips and best of all - I get to hang out with " like minded frugal gardeners " .
    Check out your local Extension Office and sign up for the next class .
    And - it's all free !

  • greenbean08_gw

    You know, if a pickup truck isn't in your budget, check out your car's towing capacity, and look into a utility trailer. Of course, then you have to be able to back it up... (I'm not so good at that part...) We bought a $600 trailer probably 10 or 12 years ago, and we use it a lot (and we actually have a truck as well). It's lower to the ground than the truck, so it can be easier to load & unload. I don't have to worry about chipping the paint or anything like that, and if it takes me a week to unload the horse manure I brought home, DH doesn't freak out about his truck. Our trailer can hold quite a bit more than the truck. If we're hauling a heavy load, we use the truck, but my Escape has pulled that thing full of household goods more than 8,000 miles (a few different trips) with no trouble.

    Just something to think about...

  • tidewaterlilly

    My favorite tips:
    1. I cut up old black waterhoses into 6 foot sections, I place them in the cherry trees, blueberry bushes, and grape vines. Haven't lost crops to birds since doing this.
    2. Save tomatoe soup cans to give or sell tomatoes plants in, folks love them. I use all tin cans, cardboard creme and milk cartons for transplanting, haven't had to buy a pot yet.
    3.I love clay pots for the patio plants, but they dry out so quickly. I line the sides with bubble wrap, and don't have to water as often.
    4. When I find a dead tree in the woods, I cut slabs for stepping stones.
    5. Railroad has given me many railroad ties for raised beds, I don't use them for or near vegetables. Also have made steps out of them on hilly areas. 6. Save all coffee grounds for the blueberry bushes.
    7. Panty hose for tomatoe ties.
    8. Produce mesh bags for homemade bird suet.
    9. Sow buckwheat throughout the year in between vegetable plants, and in rows, the bees love them, I let some go to seed and collect them, and or just pull them up and lay next to veggies for mulch, then dig in in later.
    10.Raise most vegetables in raised beds made from 2x12's. Very little bending, and no tilling. Easy to construct a small hoop house over beds for winter salad greens.

  • ajpa

    I have one! Not just for gardening tools, but any tool that has rust. It's easy to take off rust with aluminum foil. Just damp soil foil with water and rub on the rusted surface. The rust will transfer to the foil.

  • wiley0

    Here is a strange one. But then so am I.

    I wanted a hill on my level yard. In the corner of my fenced in city yard, by an erosion preventing pine tree.
    My neighbor had some excess clay dirt from his project.
    I had a wheelbarrow and muscle (I needed that).

    Not enough dirt by calculation to make much of a strawberry hill that the next year transformed into a small bog garden with the use of a discarded pond I picked up.

    I had about 3 or 4 dozen gallon milk bottles with caps (you need them to keep the air in and the jug from collapsing).

    I laid down some excess brick amongst the jugs and brought in first load of dirt. Then more jugs and more bricks and more dirt till I had a mound about 3' high. Then I added limestone, plants and trees and of course several strawberry plants all around the bog area. For realism, I added a few dead trees/stumps and got some cattails from the local slew.

    If I ever decide to change it (or someone after me), they can reuse the bricks, stones, and recycle the jugs. Seems like I won't change it tho, I just keep added to it. This spring will be it's third year.

    Oh, lest I forget, neighbor was discarding a toilet. I bleach washed it, left it out in the rain for a month and then sledge hammered it into workable pieces and buried it amongst some large plastic planters and put perenniels in the pots and covered it all with my compost. My hill didn't get higher, just larger. And my fall 75% off hens and chicks had a new home.

  • Debby Kuennen

    Wonderful ideas! My latest idea is making pots out of newspaper. On the winter sowing forum directions are given to open up a sheet of newspaper then fold it in half from top to bottom. Fold in half again from top to bottom then wrap around a glass with about 3" extending beyond the open end of the glass. Next you shove down the extended paper inside the glass. Now pull it all off the glass and use the bottom of the glass to smash down the folded paper in the center which makes the bottom of the pot. You'll get a nice pot and you can change the size based on the size of the glass you use. Fill them with potting soil and nestle them together in a foil lasagne pan with a plastic lid or a plastic salad container. Plant your seeds and the container will keep the moisture in while the seed germinates. When finished with the pots they can go into the compost pile. I've made hundreds for winter sowing.

  • terrysal

    I have used this tip for years to help keep the cats out of the garden. I take my used coffee grounds and pour them over the garden area that the cats seem to like and - voila! No more cats! I don't know if it's the smell of the coffee or the texture of the grounds, but it has always worked for me.

  • gardenfaerie

    Wow! It's been nearly five years since I first posted this thread, and I'm so happy people are still responding. Thanks to everyone for your input; it's been so fun reading your tips. Keep 'em coming! :)
    Monica

  • Peggy_LL

    Here where I live we have trouble with the cut-worm. We have to put something around most of the plants in the vegetable garden, to protect them until they get big enough. I cut up a 4" thin wall pvc pipe and have used the same collers for the past 12 years. Using the same collers for that long sure same lots of time and money for me.

  • bacon1972

    smooth stones or broken clay pots are good for plant markers

  • autodidact

    Made my compost bins out of free wood pallets off Craig's List. Even included hinges in the front. Very happy with them.

  • natalie4b

    I have never tried myself, thought heard someone made a "smoothy" in a blender out of banana peel and other table compost material, and pored it directly around her plants, since she did not have a compost container.

  • kandm

    My number one tip would be to salvage as much stuff as possible from trash piles around your neighborhood. Also, don't be afraid to contact businesses to ask if they have any scraps. Food establishments are a great source for free or cheap 5 gallon buckets. If you need a tool, try pawn stores or flea markets first.

  • nancy_drew

    Winter sowing! You cannot get more frugal than that! With a 20 cent packet of seed from WalMart, you can grow literally pound upon pound of veggies! There is no cost for lighting, no cost for expensive trays or for heat mats. All it takes is a quart of potting mix and an empty milk just.

    For about the same amount of money, you can also grow very expensive perennial plants as well. Some of my Winter Sown sell for more than $10.00 EACH at a nursery! Never again will I ever buy a plant for my garden! Even if it's 75% off... I can winter sow dozens of them for the same money!

    Here is a link that might be useful: Winter Sowing on GW

  • hepatica_z7

    Hi all you Froogies (just made that up for us). I am a long time lurker who is finally beginning to post.

    Some of these ideas I already mentioned in Bulbs, Vegetables, and Wintersowing, but here they are all together in their true home;

    1) Instead of beer for slug traps, you can just use a bit of yeast in water. Bury a cottage cheese container to the lip and then fill with this mixture.

    2)Old sheets, towels, even natural fiber clothing make fine weed barriers. They do break down within a year or so. It's fun to find snaps and buttons when planting the bed in later years!

    3) Raised beds can be made for free if you can find tree trunks that don't have branches. Maybe that is not so easy everywhere, but with all the tulip poplars around here, in vacant woodsy lots, I find a lot of straight, about 6" diameter logs that can be up to 15" long. I haven't done anything in the way of attaching them, but I'm sure one could. They serve the purpose of holding in the soil, just by sitting there. They have a rustic, natural look. Of course, after quite a few years they rot.

    And of course, as the last poster urges, winter sow! Sturdiest transplants you could ever hope to buy or grow.

    Hepatica

  • steseaq

    One thing we do is use old bed frames for trellising. We are growing cucumbers, squash, zucchini, and medium pumpkins on these sturdy frames.

    This year we'll try growing potatoes in old apple baskets. (Must have a hundred of these old things around!)

    I guess the moral is to use what you have, scrounge what you don't! :)

    Cheers!

  • dawncols

    I have a new one:

    For seedlings that I want to transfer directly to the garden without disturbing the roots: yoplait yogurt cups. I decided to try them because they have a sort of upside down cone shape.

    I made a happy discovery: The cup has a false bottom--the bottom of the cup is raised up 1/4 inch. When I used a razor blade to cut off the ring of plastic that raises up the false bottom (see crude illustration below) the whole bottom popped out, and then the seedling and dirt will all slide right out the bottom into the planting hole.

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  • pattyokie

    Love this post. Love being called a Froogie! (it beats "cheap" which I've been called before)
    1) I have annuals in huge pots by my walkway. Shallow roots don't need all that expensive potting soil, so I filled the pots about 1/2 way with plastic soda bottles.
    2) Made a trellis for my Morning Glories out of small limbs cut from the branches that came down in our ice storm last year. Just lopped off the branches, (about 4-5 ft tall), stuck them in the ground in front of a fence & secured them to the fence w. twist ties. It is cool looking in the winter with nothing on it & cost only for the twist tie things (bread ties not being long enough) Thanks for all the tips. Patty

  • luvsdieter

    I love this whole section!! It just hurts me to pay full price for something or buy an item that I could easily make at home.

    I'm still new to outdoor gardening (been doing small container gardening, indoors mostly), but my whole garden has cost me less than $75 so far this year.

    Here's what has worked for me:

    - used dirt dug from our "compost" (I put it in quotes because it's not really compost - just the pile where clippings and misc yard waste go) instead of buying lots of potting mix

    - Started everything from seed except for berry plants

    - Made my own trellis for climbing beans from an unused shepherds hook. Just took twine straight down from the crooks, then tied off different sections for the beans to climb

    - Instead of buying twine, I just grab a few handfuls of the free stuff by the door at Lowe's each time I go in (used for tying things to the roof of the car)

    - i didn't have any tomato cages and didn't want to buy any, so i planted the tomato seedlings strategically near stakes so that I could tie them up with the free lowe's twine

    - just picked up a huge bag of coffee grounds from the starbucks in my office building.

  • okiefamily

    I used a re-useable grocery bag to make a planter for my upside down tomato instead of buying the kit at the store. I've got tomatoes growing out the bottom and cilantro growing out the top!

  • caflowerluver

    I traded plants for small seed pots and trays on Craigslist. I needed more small 2" pots for my greenhouse, so I promised to return some of the pots with veggie and flower plants. I got a great response and made some new garden friends.

    I use yogurt cups for the next transfer stage of seedlings. Don't forget to poke holes in the bottom. We eat lots of yogurts so always have plenty. Then I clean them and recycle them when I plant the small plants in the garden.
    Clare

  • luckygal

    I buy tomato cages at yard sales and cut them in two pieces to use as supports for smaller perennials. They don't last as long as the expensive ones but are often free or very inexpensive.

    We've collected lots of used coffee grounds from local coffee shops to use as soil and compost amendments. Also every week get a garbage bag 1/2 or full of veggie trimmings from the produce section to add to the compost. It's plant food and it's all free.

    In the bottom half of very large outdoor plant pots (bot cheaply at yard sales) I put fine wood shavings we get free. Reduces soil needed, absorbs moisture, and starts to decompose so can be used as mulch later. All the mulch we use is those wood shavings with compost, UCG, and alfalfa tea added. Have to go and shovel the shavings but they're free. Alfalfa pellets are a fairly inexpensive fertilizer.

    Plants from seed are the best value IMO. Plants from charity sales and yard sales can be good also as are plant swaps with friends.

    My DH has bot a lot of garden tools (and mechanic and woodworking tools) at yard sales. I buy plant pots and garden decor there.

    I've used lots of twigs to hold short garden peas up off the ground.

    We yard sale so a lot of things we use come from there. One really good find was a square rigid plastic pond liner. I wanted to make a pond but decided not to so use the pond liner in the back of our van to haul dirty things we wouldn't put in the van otherwise. It fits perfectly, holds quite a lot, and is easy to clean by taking out and hosing off.

  • peanut01

    Good ideas all. I just read about breaking up a toilet and using that in the bottom of pots. My neighbor topped that by placing an old toilet in his front yard and used it as a planter. Her is currently growing petunias in it. First I thought it was tacky but after awhile it started to grow on me.

    One obvious way to recycle in the yard is to salvage all grass materials possible. Grass clippings add a lot of nitrogen to the ground. Good grass that is dug out so beds can be put in should be used as plugs or as sod in other parts of your yard that are lacking.

    Popsicle sticks are okay plant marker. Old plastic knives are even better markers(don't buy new knives just to use for this since that would defeat the purpose).

    Old hoses can be used to tie up trees that are in danger of wind damage.

    Dried bamboo can be used as stakes.

    When cleaning fish tanks use the waste water on your plants. Also when replacing fish tank gravel it makes a great ammendment to the soil providing faster drainage.

    Craigslist and freecycle are great.

    Also make friends with local individuals to swap with. Swapping through the mail is not always the best way to get plants(it is great for collectors of rare plants or for people who complete large trades). I paid a total of $35 shipping 3 banana trees, some seeds, and some cannas.

    I also use some biodegradable items as filler in my raised beds. I pile leaf litter in the bottom of my raised beds. Also sometimes I buy bags of large rocks or gather large rocks instead of using soil in the bottom of my raised beds. I find that bags of rocks fill more space and are less expensive than garden soil.

    All natural decoration... Use sticks and vines to create broom facimiles. These can be used as a broom...lol But since regular store bought brooms are more practical these can also be used a decorations hanging from trees.

    Cats are great when it comes to pest control so house a cat rather than buying chemicals when it comes to mole/vole or other rodent problems.

    Coffee cans are great to make bird houses with.

    Maybe I can get creative and think of more later.

  • akarosco

    I visit my local carpet store. They have an everlasting supply of new carpet off-cuts left over from installations. I use the carpet as a weed mat under any raised beds I'm establishing. Also use it between garden beds as a weed / grass supressor & walkway. Needs replacing every three or so years. My dogs also have a regular supply of New & Clean mats on which to sleep..
    Also have a mushroom farmer down the road who grows mushrooms in bags. He's always happy to part with his spent compost at a reasonable price. Great natural fertaliser & increases humus!

  • akarosco

    By the way. What is DH short for?
    I've always used it as a replacement for Dick Head.

  • Suzi AKA DesertDance So CA Zone 9b

    Here is my tip! My cuttings from UC Davis were too long for my planting bands, so I cut tips with 2 buds each, marked them with the UC Davis tag, and laid them in a 1.5" trench covered with loose dirt, outside in the garden areas. These were grapevines, figs, and pomegranates, all assorted varieties. No fear! I had them marked!!

    So, I discovered 4 little grapevines peeking out of the dirt after about 3 weeks, and then the drama began! The ID tag had either washed off or faded in the sun, so now I have mystery plants!!

    After researching the web, I found that you can cut an aluminum can up into tags, punch with a hole punch, emboss the plant's ID into the aluminum with a ball point pen (I found this is easy to do with the aluminum laid on a mouse pad), and some wire to hang the tags onto the plant.

    The embossing will last forever. It will not fade! The tags are so lightweight, they won't hurt the plant. Best thing is, FREE!!

    Drink the pepsi, and then use the can! Whee!!!

  • hellesbelles86

    @akarosco DH usually stands for dear (or darn or d@mn) husband but I like your version

    This is a great read!!

    My frugal tip? plant things that reseed themselves in areas where you don't want to do a lot of work. Let them take over and you have a nice simple timesaving bed. I did this with spearmint in a bed that was all weeds and now its all mint in just a year.

  • hengal

    hellesbelles86 -

    I do this every year with petunias. I make sure the seeds are sprinkled in the pots they've grown in at the end of each season and then next year - like right now - I've got tons of babies that come up on their own. Usually too many for the pot - so I just dig them up and start new pots with them. Its a great time and money saver.

  • zandra

    Chickens.

    Specifically, bantam hens; mine are golden seabrights and old english; they are really cute, easy to keep (the trick is protecting them from varmints, otherwise, easy. And btw, I have three cats and they have never even looked at the chickens funny, but everything else will kill them if it could) they eat ALL the bugs, and give the greatest manure you could ever use. If you want larger laying hens get barred rocks, they are quiet, tame, disease free and the chicks are easy to find. there are great websites out there for starting with chickens (backyardchicken.com for instance) Get at least two, but don't get too many. I had a huge problem with snails and slugs, after one year with chickens they are GONE. I had a constant battle with my poor soil, now I have all the manure I can use for the entire yard. I quit tilling -the thin topsoil is so rich I just keep topdressing. Just about every other bug is gone or is hiding out of sight trying to escape them.
    Seriously =chickens

  • dancinglemons

    At my favorite thrift store they almost always have vinyl or aluminum blinds and mini-blinds for $1. I get one and cut the slats for plant markers. I use a grease pencil from Wal**Mart which usually cost $2 and last for years. I am still using the mini-blinds from last year and the same grease pencil from 3 years ago. In my yard magic-markers fade in a few months but the grease pencil markers from last year can still be read very clearly. I do not save the markers but toss them in the recycle bin. Why pay $5 or $6 dollars for the plant markers in stores.

    DL

  • kathi_mdgd

    I also use the grease pencils,picked them up at a yd sale,3/.25,can't beat that price.Markers never work for me,they always fade out really quick.

    Another thing to mark with is the little bottles of Scribbles paints in the craft store and wal mart.They have a pointed tip,and never fade away.

    I also take the rest of the bar of soap,put it in the foot of a knee high nylon hose and tie it outside near the water spigot,makes it so much easier to wash your hands outside and you never have to look for the soap.
    Kathi

  • homegrown54

    Great thread! Here's my two cents' (frugal!) worth.
    I always start plants too early, and lots of 'em. I save all my tin cans (top was removed with one of those handy 'no jagged edge' hand can openers)... I take a big nail and a small hammer and on the SIDE (not underneath so the water can get in if I water from the bottom) about 3-4 holes. Masking tape tag on side when I put a happy plant in there. By the time it's time to put outside, I have one heckuva root system. (in the bottom of the can I put the coarse stuff I sift out of potting soil, crushed eggshells, and some tiny bits of newsprint. Works fantastic.
    And for tomato ties, I cut old T-shirts in strips across the bottom and work up. I loop one end and tie, put the tie around the plant, stick the free end through the loop for a cradle. Tie to the stake or fence in a way I can 'free' it as the plant grows and needs to be 'brought up' a bit. Work great. AVOID hosiery I've found... they never rot and will mess up the tiller in the second garden that I do till. Other garden is never tilled. In that garden each year I have volunteer mustard greens, dill, lettuce, you name it. I harvest as June comes to make more room for the plants... never have to buy seed for 'em!
    I'll stop now!!!!! Happy growing to all... "Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed." - Francis Bacon

  • lceh

    Well, it's an old thread, but here are some of my favorites:

    (1) It's been mentioned before, but Craigslist is great! My best find ever was a lady who'd just bought a house with lots of boxwoods and wanted them gone. My husband and I dug out 50 ten-year-old suffructicosa and 8 really big sempervirens in an hour (before she could change her mind!), which I used to build a Williamsburg-style, boxwood-edged parterre garden. I never could have afforded that if I'd had to buy the boxwood. You can also post "wanted" ads and come up with some great things. I posted that I wanted grass clippings, and someone wrote back saying she owned a goat farm and offering aged goat manure instead - free! We got an entire trailer load and the promise of more later. And just today I picked up 20 thirty-pound bags of used coffee grounds from a local business, also advertised on Craigslist. All are going into my lasagna garden this fall.

    (2) Yahoo! garden groups or other garden groups in your area. I've swapped a lot of things and scored free divisions from generous gardeners in our area.

    (3) When buying perennials or even some shrubs, look carefully at the base of the plants and choose ones that can easily be divided into two or more before planting. Then you can plant 2 or 3 for the price of 1. I've recently learned that some suppliers deliberately plant some shrubs in groups of 3 in a pot to make it look like one bushy plant. Look carefully and choose the one that will give you the most plants for the money.

    (4) Stockpile perennials in the fall when they're 50-75% off and if you can't plant right away, winter them over in their pots buried in a mulch pile until you can get them planted. That's the only good thing about the stores starting to stock Christmas stuff earlier and earlier -- the big box home improvement stores have to move the stuff out quick by late October/early November.

    Keep the tips coming!

  • bettyd_z7_va

    1) Pour your leftover 1/2 cup of morning coffee into your watering can. Your plants will love it.

    2) As your plants mature, divide them to start new flowerbeds for free.

    3) Make gardening fun so your children & grandchildren will grow to love helping you garden.

    4) Grow flowers that are host and nectar plants for Butterflies. Not only will you enjoy the plants, but you will get hooked on the beautiful flying "flowers".

    I love this thread. Keep those $$$ saving ideas coming!

    Betty

  • aharriedmom

    Bumping up this thread to say 1) it's a terrific thread, thanks! and 2)

    If you eat hummus, the containers that it comes in make perfect 5-1/2" clear drip saucers. All you have to do is remove the stickers.

  • tess1893

    Love this thread, found some awesome ideas I had never heard about, thanks everyone! I reuse potting soil as long as there is no sign of fungus or disease. Different blends for different plants in containers or the garden depending on the type of drainage needed for the plant. I also have created an under the counter rooting center in my kitchen. I took clearances to 90% off led white Christmas lights and Velcro light clips intended for outdoor use and used them to make hidden (mostly).lighting, originally cause I just wanted more light but it works great for cuttings, footings and untimely transplants. I take all the cuttings, footings plants and seeds that people want to give me and sometimes it ends up being a plant that for whatever reason the owner just says take it, I do and quickly, lol, so they can't change their minds. Y'all have a great day!

  • gardenfaerie

    I just found out about growing veggies in straw bales, which seems economical and easy. Am going to try it next year. :)

  • gibbsgirl

    I just got lots and lots of seed packets at our local Dollar General stores in September (I'm in SW IN). They are regular price 2/$1 or $3/1. They put the garden stuff on clearance in September.

    We paid $0.02, or $0.03, or $0.05 a packet for seeds! Yippee. Got lots of vegetables and even more flower seeds. Way more than we can plant. But, my kids really enjoy gardening, and I'm not great at it. So, I figured, it won't cost me much for us to try and fail with all these. I'm planning to let the kids help me trying them different ways, like inside, winter sown outside, planting after the frosts, starting in the greenhouse. I figure we'll probably learn a lot and if I keep track of it okay. Then, the year after that I probably will make better use of the money I spend on gardening, cause I'll have made lots of mistakes with my super-discounted seed collection!

    PS. I fully intend on searching for more seeds next year, too. But, the awesome prices I got will help me have the willpower to wait til September not waste $$ paying full price when the displays start popping up in early spring! :)

  • gibbsgirl

    Last winter I saw big tables at our local Big Lots that we're filled with roses. They seemed to have several varieties, and the most expensive prices I saw were $6. (I didn't look super close though.) Later, they discounted them and the cheapest price I saw was $2.

    I didn't buy any, but I have a planter in my front yard that I need to clear stuff out of. Then, I want to plant climbing roses in it. I'm planning to try Big Lots first when I finally get it ready.

    I think I first saw the tables with roses in January.

  • garf_gw

    I make plant markers using the boxes from my wife's hair color. I use my printer to print the marker, it doesn't fade. I cover both sides of the marker with shipping tape so it's waterproof. Pics later.

  • garf_gw

    Let's see if this works.

    {{gwi:50261}}

  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio

    Maybe one last tip...I live in a suburban neighborhood with curbside recycling and trash pickup. Once I got over looking "funny" to the neighbors, I have found plants, various poles for various uses, fencing, compostable materials, pots, and my favorite: the plastic buckets with lids that kitty litter comes in. Those have been so useful for innumerable things! They have handles, are about 5 gallon size, can be used with or without the lids for storage, planting (with holes drilled for drainage) and carrying.

    No, wait, my REAL favorite was the papa-san chair that I lined with weed block fabric (which I happened to have since I bought it before I learned that newspaper was better), filled with soil, and use for my herb bed.
    There was another on the curb just last week but, sadly, I decided that I really didn't have room for it...

  • pghgardengirl

    Half way through the Spring season, I noticed that there was a rather large accumulation of empty plastic flats under the display from annuals sold and asked the grocery store manager if I could have them. He was more than happy to give them to me since they throw them out. I think I have several hundred flats now. I just make newspaper pots and done...sometimes you gotta just ask...you never know.

  • KingsTable

    I worked in a grocery store bakery last year, and we went through lots of plastic buckets that frosting comes in. We rinsed them out and gave them to whoever asked for them. They make geat storage or containers for gardening.

  • slipperypencil

    "Buy a $3.00 mini-blind at Kmart"

    Buy? I thought this was a frugal forum ;>)
    You can get free ones from friends, freecycle, or the trash.

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