Tricks to Keep Gardening Affordable

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Stereotypically, women are accused of spending lots of money on clothes, shoes, accessories and other personal care needs. I do not fit into that stereotype. I am pretty frugal, but when it comes to spending money on plants, I have a problem.

When spring hits, I am eager to see bright beautiful flowers and plants in my yard and flower beds. Although I am a big proponent of sticking to a budget, I find it difficult when it comes to plants. Over the last few years, I have been challenged by my husband to discover inexpensive ways to garden and add to our flower beds. Here are a few tricks I have learned:

The Brick Rooting Method: I do not know if it is an official method, but I have recently learned that many plants can be rooted by using a brick or a large rock. The method can be achieved by placing a brick or large rock on the branch of a plant such as a hydrangea or rose bush.  The brick forces the branch of the plant to remain close to the ground and the branch will eventually begin to form roots, and become a separate plant.  

I attempted this method last fall with my hydrangea bush. This spring I had a second viable plant to move to a new location. It is small, but it is thriving and has already bloomed.  Best of all, it was free.  I have found the same method to work with knock out roses.

Splitting plants:  Many plants such as daylilies, hostas and irises can be split by driving a shovel down the center of the plant to divide into two plants.  Not only does this method multiply the plant, but I have found that splitting a plant often creates a healthier plant with more blooms.  I recommend splitting plants in the fall or very early spring before plants begin to produce blooms.

Succulents or Sedum:  Find a friend with some plants in the sedum or succulent family. We live in the southeast where temperatures can get very hot during the summer.  Succulents are wonderful and easy plants to grow.  They can survive droughts and humans who forget to water.  Best of all, you can break off pieces of established plants, stick them in the ground and they will root themselves. Not only do they easily root themselves, but many multiply on their own and will return the next season.  My favorites are purple queen and lemon ball.  

Grow from seed:  I had my first success growing starter plants from seed this year.  A seed packet can cost anywhere between 20 cents to $3.  Considering one tomato plant at a nursery can cost $4, a seed packet can be cost effective for anyone wanting to grow more than one tomato plant as it can generate multiple plants for less money.

If you are unsure how to do care for a particular plant, search videos on YouTube. Many friendly gardeners have taken the time to video excellent explanations. It can be considered learning as you grow.

 

Writer Bio: Summer Bolte

I spend most of my time and days with my three kids, husband and dog. My kids frequently play near me as I garden, cook, DIY and volunteer. My most unusual paying job has to be feeding fruit flies in a research lab, and my most fulfilling job was being an oncology nurse for seven years.  

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