Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Monday, June 12, 2006

June 12, 2006 - Garden Savings

There are so many ways to save on gardening but I thought it might be a good idea to highlight some of them. I think there are four main aspects: environment, cost, time, and effort. So I'll mention a few of the things I do to save in all aspects.

As gardeners I firmly believe we are stewards of the land. That means we should do nothing to harm the land and we should encourage as natural of an ecosystem as possible. In essence we should leave the land better than we found it. Since we are planting things that don't normally grow wild we still need to encourage birds, butterflies, beneficial insects and etc. At the same time we need to control the harmful invaders if we want a crop so we need to find a balance. My rule of thumb with any type of pest control is to use the least harmful method possible. In some cases this is fencing when dealing with the larger animals but it is environmentally friendly. My second rule of thumb is organic as near as I can get. Our lot backs onto farmland so I can't be sure his sprays don't get on my garden but I can be sure that I haven't put any sprays on the garden. But there are other ways to save environmentally.
Establish a compost whether it be bin or pile. Compost is just good all the way around. It gives nutrients to your plants, retains moisture in your beds, and get rid of garden and kitchen waste making it the perfect recycled ingredient. For the past few years I've used a very simple pile method. My municipality had a special on compost bins for $25 so I decided to pick one up. I'll still run the pile because the garden has expanded enough to need more compost. Composting is a must!

Water! It amazes me how we take water for granted even for our gardens. Then it boggles my mind that someone will tell me their garden is organic even though they are using municipal water. Hello! That water is treated and in many areas still has both floride and chlorine in it when it comes out of your tap. I've designed water barrels to collect rain water of which I will be posting a step by step method of constructing them. So check back here for those instructions. Those with ponds will know that pond water makes great fertilizer while watering your gardens. If you have fish in your ponds do not use the water for edible plants. Your flowers and lawn will love it. I maintain a water feature or two in my garden.

There are just so many ways to save on gardening. I think this might warrant a separate post. Get clippings or seeds from others which is why I'm trying to start a seed exchange on my yahoo group. Take clippings and save seeds from your own plants. I have heard others have had luck with bargain priced seeds. I can't comment on this. However check back here as I will make a post just on saving money.

Time & Effort:
Sometimes together and sometimes not but they always seem to fall together. You either have a lot of time and no effort or visa versa. I think one of the biggest bains of gardening is weeding. So here is my method. I do a complete walk through the garden morning and evening. It takes me about 10 minutes and as I go I pull any noticeable weeds. I might deadhead a plant or check for insects. The important thing is keeping a close eye for any problems. It also is a nice way to start the day and end the day. Now 10 minutes doesn't seem like a lot of time but it is more than enough to keep any weeds under control and check for any problems. Sometimes I'm in the garden several times a day. I always pinch, weed, deadhead, and observe because I know it saves me a lot of time and energy later.

Happy Gardening

Garden Gnome


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