Nature's Babe
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Frugal Organic gardening tips - How do you save money ?

A few of my tips here, please share your own tips


use old loo roll centres as root trainers, roots grow through with no disturbance
boot sale or freecycle bargains, can save money on tools
learn to propagate plants
use recycled / freecycled things as plant containers
use mostly non F1 varieties and save seed, seed swap
dry old tea bags and use to plug the hole in large pots, it filters drainage and stops compost running out when you water your aubergines tomatoes and peppers.
Sit down before a fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconcieved notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.
By Thomas Huxley

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Troppofoodgardener
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Location: Tropical North, Australia

Re: Frugal Organic gardening tips - How do you save money ?

Nature's Babe wrote: use old loo roll centres as root trainers
Translation of "loo" = toilet :) for those not from UK or similar ;)

- I use egg cartons as seed raising trays..
- My neighbour has chickens in her coop, every 6 months or so she lets me dig up the manure that has accumulated there which I re-use to top up my garden beds...
- Raid my neighbour's yard.. just kidding! Ask them nicely for seedlings, plant swapping is the way to go :lol:
- Old running shoes/sneakers as pots for small plants...
- Try to grow plants from leftover seeds in fruit/veg bought from the store...
- Buy garden stuff in bulk with neighbours and split the costs...

I'm sure there's lots more tips out there!
A fledgling gardener's attempt to grow food in the northern tropics of Australia:
https://troppofoodgarden.blogspot.com

garudamon11
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Location: Sharjah, UAE

- Try to grow plants from leftover seeds in fruit/veg bought from the store...

I love doing that, its extremly fun and can be done indoors if you don't have enough space! :)

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Tilde
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Leaves are tough to get around here - I drive around with empty leaf baskets and broom.

Scavenging pickle buckets (5 gal) from delis cheap.

Collect reusables at work (coffee bins).

Curb shop for plants and implements on bulk trash day.

Watch the bargain shelf at hardware and garden centers.
USDA Zone 10, Sunset Zone 25, 16 feet above sea level, surrounded by chem-turfers.

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rainbowgardener
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Make my own compost, make my own wood chip mulch by chipping up all the brush, save my own seeds, grow everything from seed. This year I bought a bunch of woodland plants (very difficult to start from seed) wholesale from a place where you have to buy 100 of one kind at a time. Split an order with some friends and got a bunch of bare root native plants for about $1 each.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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Tilde
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Rainbow, that's an interesting idea bout a chipper. I don't have the woody waste to justify the expense and upkeep, but since I'm getting a tow bar and a shelf I can borrow a chipper once a quarter or something. Too bad the whole neighborhood outsources their yard care or I'd get a neibhrohood chipper to share.

I've got a couple of trees that haven't had much pruning in the last 7 years so I'll probably get an arborist in to thin and shape them a bit. I figured I'd just leave the branches in the garage to dry out and strip of leaves at my leisure - but I bet if I got one with a chipper I'd have them chip them onto a tarp to use as mulch. Thanks for the idea.

Interesting about the woody plants. I don't know of any that would be super popular around here to share, but I'll keep my eyes open. Your method of buying a bundle and potting/planting them is often in those "start your own nursery business" articles. 100 plantings (even small, growning to maturity) would probably take up my whole 15 x 45 back yard - even if the ogres didn't get on me for "running a business" in my yards ... OGRES!! never again ...

I also have some composting gear I can probably trade into a local acquaintance for a coffee can full of worms ...

Also have plans for a few more rain barrels, I like not having to "run the sprinklers for five min" or haul out the hose to give my plants a good soaking. :) Small investment, but big rewards beyond just $$$.
USDA Zone 10, Sunset Zone 25, 16 feet above sea level, surrounded by chem-turfers.

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soil
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my top 3 are
-save your own seeds
-mulch
-polyculture
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

Nature's Babe
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Wow, a lot of wonderful suggestions. For those of you that were talking about woodchip, apparently the small branches are preferable, as wood from large branches can alter the soil. Small branches can be used by vegans instead of manure too. I hope I am not teaching Grandmother to suck eggs, but you might find this link interesting.

https://www.veganorganic.net/images/sheet9.pdf
Sit down before a fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconcieved notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.
By Thomas Huxley

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rainbowgardener
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I just have a small chipper/shredder. It only handles branches up to an inch or so in diameter. But very handy. I got it used off eBay for $100 several years ago and it's been a great investment. My heavily wooded little third of an acre produces more brush and firewood than I can keep up with. That's ok, some of it just goes into brush piles for habitat and eventually to break down.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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gixxerific
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I want a chipper/shredder so bad. Maybe for christmas but there are so many other things I want for the garden and food processing.

A lot of good ideas. But I will state as I have many times before. Go to your local nursery and politely ask for unsed pots. I have a ton that I got for free from 4 inch to 10 gallon and most of whats between. I also work construction on million dollar houses when they get landscaping done it is big time. I scavanged even more from the ladnscapers on one job and came home with even more pots of all sizes.

Let's just say that my loo rolls and paper egg cartons can go into the compost I'm good for pots starting and ending size.

Remember free pots, it never hurts to ask. 8)

The best thing is they are reusable, so you don't have to scrounge up new items every year.

CharlieBear
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old cotton tee shirt cut on the bias make the best plant ties of all. They have just enough give so you don't strangle anything. Use them to tie grapes, and train my espalier fruit trees and so forth.
I start all my tomatoes, eggplants etc and well as any perennials I can, I have to it is too expensive to buy them. Got an inexpensive greenhouse when it was on sale cheap, it was a bear to get up, but we managed and a little thermostate that turns on at 35 and of at 45F. I start the plants inside first under an old shop light someone tossed, works fine, but put them outside to save money as soon as there aren't many nights below 40 anymore.
I exchange pruning fruit trees for elderly neighbors for a share of the crop. I use make shift trellises whenever possible. elderberry canes make good canes, if you can get them.
I accept all of the neighbors old pots and gardening tools when they have them to divest and much of the above as well.
We have a chipper that will take up to 3" branches, but the trick is to do them as soon after they are cut off as possible. They go through much better fresh than after they dry out. Warning, chippers are hard work before you purchase look at all the available styles. If all you want is to mulch leaves use a lawn mower or leaf blower shreader thing, they are inexpensive compared to a chippper/shreader. You need a plan to use a chipper, have everything ready to go, 2 are far better than 1 when using them. You want to mimimize the amount of gasoline you use or you are not helping yourself or the environment. Note, somethings like holly are nearly impossible to grind up. Grape vines are really tough too.

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rainbowgardener
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Mine's electric... no gas and quieter.

I'm a fan of electric appliances. We have solar powered rechargeable electric lawn mower, electric chain saw, etc...
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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Tilde
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An electric chain saw? Wow. Never heard of that. I'm clumsy enough I'd be worried about cutting the cord all the time (which I have done with the mower too many times to want to count ...)

Yes, looking at an electric chipper. Now that I have a way to really compost stuff I cut it's a more viable option. But I bet I won't get one. Clippers and this electric bush cutter I have do most of my trimming and if I do multi passes I don't need one anyway.

Good to know by the way, that you shouldn't try to chip "old" stuff, but should do it right away. Makes sense but I'd never thought about it. Would have found out the hard way on a borrowed chipper I bet.

And big branches alter the soil chem, NaturesGarden - so don't do them at all or use them for mulch instead?
USDA Zone 10, Sunset Zone 25, 16 feet above sea level, surrounded by chem-turfers.

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