Perhaps you’ve always admired your neighbor’s garden. Or now that you’ve bought a home with a yard, your dream of starting a vegetable patch can become a reality. Whatever your horticultural fantasy building a garden takes time, patience, and above all else-money. But there are several tips and tricks that you can use to ensure that your garden looks and smells fantastic without breaking the bank.
Related: 5 Essential Tips for New Gardeners
Plants need coffee too
One of the best sources of plant food is coffee grounds and tea bags. These ground leaves and beans are loaded with nitrogen and low in phosphorus making them a favorite food of vegetables including lettuce, cabbage and Brussel sprouts. In general, any leafy plants need more nitrogen than flowers or fruits.
Another way to feed your plants is by hydrating them the water you’ve used to steam or boil your vegetables. This water is full of nutrients that will help nourish your growing plants. Remember let the liquid cool before you put it on your plants. You don’t want to scald the roots or kill your greenery.
To the untrained eye slugs may seem harmless or even cute. But they can destroy your weeks of hard work in a matter of days. If you spot even just one slug in your garden, you must act quickly by picking them off your plants. Believe it or not, ducks consider slugs a tasty treat. You’d be doing them a tremendous favor by feeding them your garden pests.
Aphids are another bug that eats the sap from your plants. They live in large colonies and reproduce rapidly, that’s why when you do spot them on your plants, act quickly. Use two teaspoons of dish soap and warm water mixed together. Spray this solution directly onto the insects and the infected plant.
But remember not all bugs are bad. There are certain insects you want to encourage. They include bumble bees and spiders to name a few. These types of insects keep planting-eating bugs off of your greenery. To ensure these garden allies stay alive you need to provide them with homes and places to lay their eggs. One way to do so is by not weeding in the fall and to avoid spraying your garden with pesticides. Both of these tactics will ensure your plants continue to thrive and grow.
Recycling your pots
Elaborate ceramic pots might look good in front of your house but they are expensive and often unnecessary. This is especially true with your seedlings. You can recycle a plastic container or a milk jug by filling them with soil and planting your seeds in there. This approach is not only inexpensive but it is also extremely ecofriendly.
Another recycling tip is to use old tree bark to mark your plants. Metal or clay markers can become costly, especially if you have many plants or seedlings to identify. Using old tree bark is not only inexpensive and environmentally friendly, but the bark might actually grow roots, and you’ll have one more plant in your garden.
Fence them in
Let’s clarify that, fence in your plants and keep out the animals, including deer, squirrels, possums and skunks. All of these animals love to eat greenery and vegetables, so the sight of your garden is the equivalent of an unlimited salad bar. You certainly don’t want to poison any of these animals with chemical products designed to keep them at bay. Instead you want to build a fence, a high one (deer can jump) make of wire. This will ensure your garden remains safe as it begins to flourish.
One final seed
The tips and tricks listed above are only a sample of the most inexpensive ways to garden. There are many more ideas on the Internet and in books. The true beauty of gardening is not only the plants and flowers but that whether you spend a lot of money or hardly any, you can grow almost anything. What it really takes to be a successful gardener is time, patience and the willingness to have fun. So get your spade out and start digging.
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