Spring to me means gardening. When I was younger the fresh smell of wet earth was abundant on our small farm each spring, and mom would send us out in turns to till the garden and pull weeds.
Through the years, I've learned that there are a few tricks to preparing for a garden that will allow you to have a lovely harvest without spending a lot of money.
Check out some of my tips below to find out how you can save a little cash on your next gardening project!
Hit the discount stores for the best deal on potting soil.You can get a whole bag of premium soil for around $7 at Big Lots - which is a pretty good deal in itself. But if you sign up for their discount club and wait for their 20% off sale-day, you'll be down to around $5.60 a bag!
Plan your garden out a month before planting.Whether you're doing a small project or a large one, planning ahead can save you big. Buy your plants and seeds online from reputable nurseries to save yourself a ton of cash. The plant that costs you $15 at the local home & hardware store might only cost you $3 online!
Skip buying the mini plant-starter kits and use clear, plastic egg cartons instead.You're going to use eggs anyhow, and for a few cents more per dozen you can grab the ones that come in the clear container. These work great as little bitty greenhouses, but cost significantly less. When the plants have sprouted and are getting ready to outgrow their egg carton cups, transplant them directly into your garden or pots.
Plant herb borders around your garden to have fresh seasonings that do double duty as bug repellent!Sage, rosemary, mint, lemongrass, thyme - the list goes on and on. Almost all herbs have properties that will keep bugs away from your plants. That means a better harvest for you and you won't even have to invest in unhealthy chemical sprays.
Put up distractions.If you've planted a garden before, only to find it trampled upon and eaten by a plethora of critters - you are not alone! I'm not suggesting you bust out a full-sized scarecrow for your home garden, but a few well-placed items can dissuade all sorts of pests from snacking on the fruits of your labor. A bed of catnip planted well-away from the main garden will attract cats to roll in that instead of in your precious tomatoes. A corn cob stand will keep squirrels, chipmunks, and other rodents from rooting around in search of your slightly-harder-to-access veggies, and a full bird-feeder placed near the garden will encourage birds not only to eat there, but to keep an eye on your crops for any sign of bug-like movement.
Get a chicken.A chicken or two with garden-roaming privileges can be a wonderful thing. Many times I have bemoaned the fact that my Florida garden looks nothing like my Indiana garden, and I think the biggest reason is the lack of a good chicken. From morning to dusk, my mother's chickens can generally be found out in her big garden - dutifully eating bugs and grubs and whatever else happens to creep or crawl through her plants. Who needs pesticide when God created chickens?
And lastly...Don't forget to share your harvest at the end of the season! Get information about your local farmer's market about participating as a seller! You can meet new people, get great tips from other growers, and make a few bucks on the side.
Do you have a great gardening tip to share?
Chat with me in the comments below, I love hearing from my readers!
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