Garden Cents

•   Fill It Up – Add plastic water bottles or Styrofoam peanuts to the bottom of your container (Up to ½ with annuals or ¼ with small perennials).  Fill the balance with your soil mixture.  You will save on plant materials and provide drainage for your pot.
•    Drain – Many pots or containers don’t have drainage holes in the bottom.  Add one or two holes in the container for proper drainage after watering.
•    Recycle and Reuse – Anything can be used as a container for your flowers, herbs & vegetables.  Use a container that reflects your personality.  Love horses? Use an old cowboy boot. Is your passion cycling? Put an old bicycle in your yard and fill the basket with trailing ivy (an evergreen).  For added enjoyment, paint your bicycle pink (or a complimentary color to the surrounding area) and lean against a tree.
•    Compost – Start a compost bin with your grass clippings, leaves and food waste (other than meat and dairy).  Your garden will love this amendment and you’ll save on fertilizers and soil amendments (necessary additions with our clay-based soil).
•    Mix It Up – Not in the mood to compost?  Instead of buying expensive potting mixes for containers, blend together mushroom compost and soil conditioner.
•    Dig Your Friends & Neighbors – Many perennials multiply.  Ask your friends and neighbors if you can have cuttings or bulbs from their gardens. When I needed shade plants, a friend need sun ones.  We traded plants, both gardens benefited, and it’s FREE!  Have some root hormone on hand to use with cuttings.
•    Two For The Price of One – In the Spring, many grocery stores run great specials on flowering bulbs, already in bloom and in pots.  After their season on my kitchen table, I cut the spent blooms and plant the bulbs in my yard.  They revisit my home again next year!
•    Gardening Classes– A great way to increase your knowledge, get expert advice, and find out what’s new and different in the gardening world.  Lichtenfelt Nurseries offers classes Saturday mornings in the Spring and Fall and they’re free!  Check with your local nursery.  For a schedule go to www.lichtenfelt.com.
•   Start With Seeds – If you have the time and the patience, it’s cheaper to start with seeds.  Park Seed in Greenwood, SC, has a full line of flower and vegetable seeds.  They also have an online garden library with articles and planting guides to get you started at www.parkseed.com.  Looking for something different, maybe even historical?  Thomas Jefferson’s gardens at Monticello have many offerings.  Check out www.monticello.org.

 

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