Money- and Time-Saving Gardening Tips

Keeping a flower or vegetable garden can make a lot of demands on your time and your wallet. However, there are some things you can do to lighten the budget and free up your gardening schedule. Here are some money-saving gardening tips:

  • It might sound a little funny, but beer can be the downfall of thirsty slugs. They love beer so much that they can become trapped in deep saucers of it. Bury an empty margarine tub in the garden soil. The top rim should be level with the soil surface. Fill the tub with beer. Any kind will do, but the more aroma it has, the better. Leave it overnight, and the slugs will crawl in and drown. Empty the tub every day or two and refill with beer until the tub makes it through the night empty.

    You can save money by reusing labels when growing plants from seeds or cuttings.
    You can save money by reusing labels when growing plants
    from seeds or cuttings. See more pictures of garden ideas.

  • If you grow a lot of plants from seeds and cuttings, you go through a lot of labels. You can buy plastic labels in bulk from greenhouse supply places and some mail-order seed companies. You can also create your own by cutting plastic milk jugs or yogurt cups into strips. But one of the best ways to get labels is to clean up the old ones. A quick scrub with steel wool and soapy water will rub writing or even commercial printing off any plastic label in a jiffy.

  • Removing an unsightly old tree stump from your yard can be expensive. An alternative is to make it into a planter. In nature, old stumps slowly begin to decay and provide fertile places for ferns and other interesting small plants to grow. You could plant flora native to your area or fill the opening with brightly colored annual flowers and vines.

    Follow nature's lead, and you will get several benefits: You won't have to pay to have the stump ground out; you can grow plants that need good drainage or special soil mixes right in the trunk; and you can create an interesting, sculpturelike structure.

    Chip some wood out of the top of the stump to create rooting space. Fill with a soil mix that's appropriate for the plants you intend to grow.

    After planting, water as necessary to keep the soil moist. If the stump is too solid to chip away, you can use it as a pedestal for a container filled with trailing or flowering plants.

  • Keep a piece of the holidays year-round by planting your live Christmas tree outside. Prepare the hole well before the ground freezes. Amend the loose soil as you dig so it will be ready for planting, and store the soil where it will not freeze. Choose a tree with a tight, solid root ball, and wrap the ball in plastic to keep it moist while it is in the house. Keep it indoors in a cool room for no more than a week. Plant the tree as soon as possible, then water it well and mulch it.

On the next page, learn about time-saving tips that keep your garden from taking over your schedule.

Want more gardening tips? Try visiting these links:

  • Gardening Tips: Learn great helpful hints for all of your gardening needs.
  • Annuals: Plant these beauties in your garden.
  • Perennials: Choose great plants that will return year after year.
  • Gardening: Discover how to garden.