The saying used to be “Dirt Cheap” but anyone who gardens knows that Dirt Cheap isn’t so truthful these days. On a recent visit to the home and garden center of our local Home & Garden store I discovered, much to my dismay, that a bag of “dirt” was quite expensive! Here are a few of our favorite gardening tips to bring you back to the days when having your own garden truly was “Dirt Cheap”!
Free Fertilizer– Fertilizers can be quite expensive to purchase and are often laden with chemicals to “enhance” your garden or landscaping. What you may not realize is that you can often get free fertilizer from nearby farms. I recommend visiting craigslist.com and clicking on the farm and garden section in your area. Many families raise pigs, chickens, cows or turkeys are are more than willing to allow you to shovel all you want into your truck.
If you have a fisherman in your family, you can cut up fish and incorporate them into the soil. As a child I watched my grandfather and dad till an entire bucket of perch into my grandmothers flower gardens. That lady had the most beautiful flowers in town and she didn’t spend a dime on packaged fertilizers.
Cheap Weed Control– the easiest, cheapest and most effective weed control is Vinegar. Simply spray it on the offending plant full strength. This is very effective between paver stones and bricks as well.
Pest Control – Companion Planting is very effective for natural, chemical free, inexpensive pest control that works simply by planting certain plants together.See Companion Planting Chart
Here is a very long list of homemade pest control remedies for flowers, fruit trees, gardens and household use.
Seeds/Seedlings: Dollar stores often have seeds on sale for as little as .10 per packet. Start your seeds indoors in homemade biodegradable seedling pots. We recommend organizing a seedling swap with some friends, it makes a great spring party. Cardboard egg cartons make lovely seed starting pots as well.
If you have a green thumb, you can save the seeds from your purchased produce. Keep in mind that store bought produce if often from hybrid varieties and may be more difficult to cultivate.
Gardening Glove Secrets– Here on the east Coast, Poison Ivy,oak and sumac are rampant and gardening gloves are a requirement. Here’s a tip to extend the life of your gloves. When you first get them, immediately turn them inside out. Line the fingertip of each glove with duct tape. Then turn them right side out. This will not only extend the life of your gloves, but will help prevent the urishol oils of poison ivy/oak from seeping into them and ending up all over your hands.