84pagirl
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Frugal Gardening tips for a newbie?

Any frugal gardening tips for a newbie gardener this is only the second garden I'm planting this year. Any tips would be apprecieated.

DoubleDogFarm
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Free pots, all sizes from your local landscape material yard. Free horse manure, but most likely you will have to haul it. My favorite, free listings in the newspaper and free piles at garage sales.

After awhile people just start giving you stuff, maybe I look needy :roll:


Cost you a little time and gasoline :D

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Zapatay
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make your own compost

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Ozark Lady
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Reuse! Look at every bit of trash generated by your house and think of a garden reuse for it.

Paper, cardboard, and scraps can all be composted to feed your soil, free soil amendments is always nice.

Encourage birds with nests and waterers made out of reused items.

Some vegetables will regrow. When you cut the end off of a carrot, plant the end the leaves were on, it will often grow. The same with celery, onions, etc. And if your garlic or potatoes sprout in the kitchen, go plant them. Pineapple tops are pretty houseplants.

Reuse!
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

cynthia_h
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:
After awhile people just start giving you stuff, maybe I look needy :roll:
Once you develop a reputation for *using* interesting things or *repairing them* and then using them, you become a magnet. I now receive amazing stuff in the world of quilting because of these characteristics.

To the OP: I can't say enough good things about Freecycle.org -- it's the way I got the free concrete blocks for my first raised bed and the free boards for the next couple of raised beds.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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rainbowgardener
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Agree with all the above. If you don't mind a little upfront costs, getting a rain barrel will cut down your water bills for watering your garden. Another similar (re being an up-front one time cost) is to get a little chipper shredder (I got a small one off ebay for about $100) and make your own wood chips from brush you cut.

Start everything you can from seed, instead of buying plants. Save your own seeds.

Get good quality garden tools - you will spend more as well as get aggravated, buying and replacing cheap ones. And have good dry storage for your tools and take care of them.
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TZ -OH6
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Ask questions before you buy anything

Do a bit of research, buy some unusual varieties so that you have something to offer, save seed, and then trade for everything else on seed saving/trading forums. Many seed savers are happy to give more than they receive, but don't like blatant begging, so fake it with a few things to trade. Also good is saying "where can I find these varieties", and chances are good one out of ten people will offer them to you for postage.

StorageSmart2
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Research as much as you can before planting and be realistic about what you can provide for your plants. I recommend looking up exactly what it is that you want to plant and giving a lot of thought to the plants needs. It's also a good idea to research companion planting.

There's nothing more frustrating than wasting a bunch of money on seeds only to find out weeks later that you've planted full sun seedlings in a shady corner of your garden or set rain garden plants in the same spot as plants that need dry soil. Don't get high maintainence plants unless you have the time and energy to spend.

TFA303
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Dumpster dive at construction sites for boards for raised beds.

Habitat for Humanity's ReStore often has great deals on tools.

Scrape your dishes for free compost material.

garden5
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You can go to a construction site and oftentimes find old "concrete wire" that makes great tomato cages and trellises. You can find and abundant supply of stakes if you go into your (or your friend's/relative's) woods. Though, do try to only take branches from fallen or already dead trees.

A word of caution on using branches as tomato stakes: make sure they are long enough so that you can get them into the ground well and strong enough so that they do not break on you.

Oh, and don't delay with starting that compost heap :wink:.

Good luck with your garden this year!
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Joyfirst
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Craigslist and freecycle definetely! We got a nice large storage bench for our garden for 40 dollars(almost 200 in the store new!) and we got free wood for the stakes and beds. Free composted horse manure. Almost free compost- for the donation to local school garden. Your city might have free compost give away days too - check the quality before loading into your car though.
Swap the seeds here on this forum and in other places. Even if you don't save seeds yourself, usually you don't need as many seeds as there are in the pack anyway. Ebay is also a good place to buy seeds. Also Pinetree Seeds has good prices,but some of their packs are small - which is usually enough anyway.

Joyfirst
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Forgot to mention-alleys. I found my nice wooden arch right next to our condominium building in the alley. Now I have my grape trailing on it, and hopefully soon -moon flowerrs and morning glories.

TZ -OH6
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I mainly use cut saplings for tomato stakes because I have a ready supply, but they don't pound in well so what I do is pound in metal T-Posts at each end of the row and string a plastic coated metal cloths line cable (or sturdy non stretch rope) between them and tie the stakes off to the line after pushing them into the soil by hand. You can get away with using some pretty wimpy stakes this way.

DoubleDogFarm
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Great ideas everybody.

My dog Pepper doesn't agree with this one.
Scrape your dishes for free compost material.
What did TFA303 say :?: :P :P
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Halfway
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LOL
Zone 4a.

Joyfirst
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They are perfect to chase off squarels and deer - so some plate material loss would be worth it :lol:

DoubleDogFarm
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They are good guard dogs. We have no squirrels on the island, plenty of deer, eagles, raccoons, hawks, minks, weasels, fox, etc for them to chase around. :lol:

TFA303
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Sorry, Pepper!

You can still have the juicy, meaty bits.

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jal_ut
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Look around your area for a Mom and Pop garden store that may sell seed from bulk lots. There are three stores near here that do that and you can get seed for 1/2 to 1/4 the cost of buying labeled packets. They also have good buys on seed potatoes, onion sets, and asparagus roots.

Direct seed most crops in your garden. The only nursery plants I buy are tomatoes and peppers. Sometimes I will buy a bundle of onion plants.

Compost all organic wastes.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

DoubleDogFarm
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I like potatoes, broccoli and many other vegetable bits. :wink:

Pepper dog :P

garden5
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One of the best ways to save money gardening is to start your tomatoes and peppers indoors from seed instead if buying transplants. Sure, you will have to spend a little at first, but it is really an investment that will pay itself off the first season if you grow a lot of plants.

Do a forum search for "seed starting" and you will learn a lot.
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1chichi
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Get free rabbit or guinea pig poo from pet shop.
It doesn't need to age, and can be placed in garden directly w/ plants.

Get top soil delivered, it's cheaper than buying so many bags of soil.

garden5
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You can look to your lawn for free mulch. Grass clippings help keep the weeds down while adding nitrogen to the soil.
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