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Friday, July 26, 2013

Gardening and Saving Green

I was asked to help host our annual neighborhood women's dinner this year and to share tips about gardening or a success story with our attendees. I think I've finally come up with something besides "we just buy them, put them in the ground and they grow..." Really my extremely green thumbed husband does the maintenance of the garden, I get to deal with the harvest. And I HATE weeding--so that's why we have a bunch of kids :).

My Advice on Gardening:

You can start small-like a container and fill it with whatever you like--herbs, flowers, veggies, etc.No weeding, low maintenance and a likely chance of success to get your green thumb going. 

Take a risk and try something new--we've learned the hard way that even though we can grow onions, our garden real estate is better used to grow other things. We have also had great success with new things like radishes, spinach and lettuce.

Expand your garden each season so you don't become overwhelmed--don't eat the "elephant" all at once. If you want to grow more than one type of veggie or flower, it's perfectly acceptable to tackle one part of the yard at a time. Baby steps lead to big success in many things.

My Money Saving Advice:

Buy on sale--seeds usually go on sale at the beginning and end of each growing season. At our local IFA seeds sell for 10 cents during their March spring sale. For my 10 cent package of lettuce I have harvested 12 bunches (big bunches) of green lettuce. I also bought radishes and have harvested over 100 individual radishes from my 10 cent packet. This is a cheap, great way to try new things.

Also many growers offer buy one get one coupons or lower the prices on veggie starts at the beginning of the year. Since many plants have to be planted within a specific time frame the stores have to move the product quickly.

Plant perennials. There are so many beautiful flowers and colorful ground covers that add colors other than green to your yard. Perennials come back year after year--so you only have to plant and spend once. The great thing is in the spring and fall you can split the flower and roots and transplant it to another part of the yard. I am lucky enough to have a Dad with a green thumb and he's kindly gifted many starts to my yard over the years. No cost, easy process and your yard will be full and beautiful. Bluebells, daisies, ice plant, verbena, ivy, tiger lilies, Easter lilies, Iris and most other perennials will split and become a new plant. Click Here for a quick tutorial.

Annuals are a quick way to add extra vibrant color for one season. The sale rules apply here too. Buy in bulk when you can--flats of flowers are often cheaper than individual cups. Set a budget because these can add up fast!

Happy Gardening!

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