Raised beds on the cheap
Planter boxes are an efficient way to garden, but the cost of lumber is far from cheap. Pick up pallets for free from your local hardware store and use the reclaimed wood to build your beds. Get all the instructions here.
Utilize the dollar store
Don't forget to think outside the box when plating your garden. While big garden stores may carry everything you need, they also tout a higher price tag on the smaller items like seeds, hand shovels, knee pads and gloves. All of these items and more can be found at your local dollar store. My local Dollar Tree also carries birdseed, peat moss and soil — who says a dollar won't get you anything anymore?
Save your tags
Most garden stores will guarantee their plants for up to a year from the time of purchase. Start a file for your receipts and plant tags, and save those in case Mother Nature takes a turn for the worse. Landscaping trees and shrubbery are not insignificant purchases; make sure you are protecting your investments!
Fertilize for free
The nose knows that manure is essential to a beautiful and bountiful garden. Instead of shelling out for Bessie's number two, volunteer at a local rabbit rescue or wildlife rehabilitation center in exchange for free manure. While those furry friends will appreciate the love, the shelter will be all too happy to part with some of bunny foo foo's doo doo. Contact your city's Animal Control department for the number to your local wildlife rehabilitation center, or check out HouseRabbit Society for a shelter near you.
Waste not, want not
While fancy garden gadgets may look cool, chances are you have what you need on hand to get the job done:
- Instead of paying $50 for a water bag, make your own slow soaker by poking a few small holes in a water-filled plastic gallon jug before placing it at the base of your thirsty tree.
- Fill old wine bottles with water before placing them upside down in potted plants for a self-watering house plant.
- Lay down newspaper instead of weed barrier.
- Cut the leftover cardboard roll from toilet paper into one-inch sections, and fill them with dirt for a DIY and biodegradable seed-starter pot.
This is a guest post by Vanessa from Dallas, TX
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