My Frugal Frugal Ways


Gardening
December 27, 2007, 11:05 am
Filed under: Gardening

Landscaping can add curb appeal and resale value to your home.  Buying plants can be expensive but propagating and filling in with seeded perennials can help.

I can spend $1 or more for each perennial or get a packet of seeds, make a sterile seed starting mix, and grow my own. Nasturtiums are easy to grow and it’s easy to harvest seeds for the next year. I also do gazanias but I buy those seeds each year. Each seed packet yields the equivalent of a $12 perennial flat or so. I grow some vegetables and herbs as well, always choosing those that are easy to grow in my area. I can usually fill my freezer with zucchini and enjoy it all year long. My favorite seed starting recipe is 1 part perlite, 1 part peatmoss, and 1 part ground or milled sphagnum moss. The seed packets will explain how deep to plant each variety.

Division is a great way to expand irises, hostas, daylilies, and some grasses.

I increase my bush collection with propagation. Hydrangeas are extremely easy to propagate. Take a hydrangea cutting early in the summer, remove the bottom couple of leaves, cut the largest leaves down to half their size, dip in rooting hormone, place in a good sterile starting medium (damp vermiculite works well), place a couple of stakes in the pot to hold up the plastic bag cover, and place in a spot out of direct sunlight. Don’t over water. You’ll have a rooted cutting in a few weeks.

Water consumption can be very high in the garden. In order to reduce it, I grow plants that are indigenous to my area and I use mulch. There are many ways to mulch but I prefer living mulch known as ground cover. It’s a bit pricey to begin with but does reduce the total amount spent in the long run and is much easier to deal with, in my opinion, than the traditional bark and bark dust which must be replaced periodically.

It’s never too early to start planning for spring garden additions.

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