Save money gardening this summer

Find out how these clever tips can help you create a fabulous garden, and save you some money at the same time!

Save money gardening this summer

Collect rainwater

For homes without downspouts, set a wooden barrel at a corner. This softens the flow of rainwater and collects it for future use.

Grow seedlings in coffee canisters

Use large coffee cans to start more seeds indoors, including plants that normally don't withstand transplanting. Cut off the bottom of the can, add drainage slits in the plastic lid, then fill it with potting soil and plant the seeds. After it's warm enough to transfer the seedlings outdoors, simply remove the plastic lid and slide out the contents — soil and all — to avoid disturbing the tender roots. You can even start sunflowers this way.

Save plant cuttings

Follow grandma's old ways to save money on annuals by taking "slips" of plants in the fall. Make cuttings from healthy plants, root the cuttings in water or a well-drained potting mix, then grow in a sunny window all winter. By spring, they are ready to set out.

Save plastic containers

Plastic berry containers, like the ones you get from the produce section at the grocery store, make great plant seed-starters. The clear cover helps the soil stay moist as the seeds germinate.

Keep old pantyhose

Instead of using insecticides, pull used nylons over the cabbage and cauliflower heads. Sunlight, air and water can still reach the vegetables, and the nylon expands as the plants grow. You can get perfect heads with no trace of bugs or worms.

Make use of old CDs

It might seem crazy to keep scratched CDs, or promotional ones you get in the mail. But in spring, you can hang them on fruit trees with heavy string to scare the birds away.

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