How to Start and Grow Plants from Seedlings
5 Ways to Prepare Your Garden for Spring
A Gardening is the number 1 hobby in America. But it doesn't have to cost you a fortune. I know friends who purchase ready-to-plant flowers and shrubs every spring. This costs them $200-300 per year. It is convenient to have an instant garden, but it can be done for less.
Growing your own plants from seeds can save you a tremendous amount of money. A packet of seeds that costs $1 can yield up to 50 plants. That's 2 cents per plant, as compared to $2-3 per plant for full grown.
I plant my seedlings indoors several months before planting season. If you live in a warmer climate, you can start the seeds directly outdoors when the danger of frost is over. If you need to start indoors, place the seedlings in a sunny area. I use inexpensive pots or seed starter trays. Another option is to use egg cartons. Place one half of an empty egg shell in the bottom of each egg holder for added fertilizer. I place the pots on an old cookie sheet to catch any water spills.
I try and make my gardening investment provide some sort of "return." Therefore, I plant more vegetables than flowers. It helps cut back on my grocery expenses.
Some plants are more costly to maintain than others. Many require lots of water, special fertilizer and costly pesticides. Roses are a good example of a high maintenance plant. Make sure that you know what your plants will require before deciding what to plant.
Xeriscaping is worth looking into. It is the science of low maintenance landscaping. This does not mean that your yard will be filled with cactus and rocks. There are many vegetables, flowers and shrubs that do well in dry areas.
Fertilizing and mulching a garden can run up quite a bill, so here are some cost saving tips:
For pests, try making your own pesticide with one of these recipes:
I purchase my seeds from seed catalogs. It has proven to be cheaper and the seeds are a better quality. If you would like to try ordering from some seed companies, try www.burpee.com. Websites are fun to check out because they can offer so much information on a few pages. Here's another one at http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/xeriscape/xeriscape.html
Jonni McCoy is the author of "Miserly Moms-Living On One Income In A Two Income Economy" and "Frugal Families-Making The Most Of Your Hard Earned Money!" Visit the Miserly Moms Website at miserlymoms.com
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