10 Weird Ways to Save Money in the Garden
Gardening and taking care of your yard can be satisfying but costly. To help you save money in the garden, here are 10 weird and not so weird ideas to consider.
- Don’t get hosed. If you have an old garden hose that has seen better days, don’t toss it. If it has a few holes, you can add more holes and use it as a soaker hose in your garden. Another option is to wind it up tightly into a coil, secure the coil using industrial staples, and you have a waterproof outdoor mat! If that hose is black, cut it into strips and use it to dissuade birds from getting into your garden (reportedly they think it’s a snake and will stay away, but you should move it occasionally).
- Use garbage. Some garden plants can be started from garbage. Vegetables and herbs such as garlic, lettuce, onions, potatoes, and even celery can be started from parts of the plant you probably throw away. See this link for more information.
- Repurpose old colanders. As far as I’m concerned, you should rarely if ever buy planters or pots—there are many free or cheap options you can use. For example, old colanders are a perfect choice, because they have built-in holes and are great for potted herbs, flowers, lettuce, and other garden plants. You can also repurpose metal watering cans and buckets (you may want to paint them), mixing bowls, salad and punch bowls, mugs, and drinking glasses.
- Save your roses. Black spot fungus commonly attacks roses, and you could buy expensive products to fight this invader. Or, you could whip up an inexpensive fungus fighter using 1 gallon of water to which you should add 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent. Place the mixture in a spray bottle and spritz your roses every three days during the growing season.
- Try inexpensive worm deterrent. Forget those expensive, toxic worm products—make your own to battle worms that get into fruit. Combine ½ cup of apple cider vinegar, ½ cup of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of molasses. Punch small holes into each side near the rim of small plastic containers (yogurt containers are a good size), run a string or dental floss through them, pour the mixture into the containers and hang several in each fruit tree. Bye bye worms!
- Make your own fertilizer. For plants that need potassium and phosphorus rich fertilizer, make your own. Save banana peels and let them dry until they are crisp, then break them up and put the pieces in a sealed container at room temperature. Nourish your plants with a handful of the dried peels by working them into the soil and watering your plant.
- Send slugs away. Save cucumber peels and use them to drive away slugs without spending money on commercial products. Place the peels in slug and snail traps, which you can make using shallow tuna or pet food cans filled halfway with water and a teaspoon of salt.
- Feed your flowers. If you eat avocados, save the peels and bury them under your flowers, especially rose bushes. They provide a healthy amount of potassium and magnesium.
- Chase the cats away. Do the stray cats in the neighborhood use your yard or garden as a litterbox? You can keep them away without buying costly deterrents by placing chopped up citrus peels (oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes) in the areas where the cats may frequent.
- Try citrus starter pots. The hollowed-out halves of grapefruit, oranges, and even lemons and limes can be used as starter pots for seeds. Punch a few holes in the bottom of the halves, fill the halves with potting soil, plant your seeds, and put the starter pots in a flat tray. Once the seeds sprout, you can plant the entire “pot” in the garden.
These are just a few ideas to help you cut costs in your backyard activities. Please share any other weird or not so weird ways to save money in the garden.
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