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My frugal methods :)

Posted by farmerkevin none (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 9, 14 at 16:13

Where do I start???

My biggest expense was the rain catchment system. It was about $800. But it allows me to water my yard without the cost of city water.

I save up all my pots when I buy a tree or plant. The nursery I buy my trees from, buy back the 15 gallon pots. I've saved and sold them all back, enough to pay for a couple trees.

I mulch. I mulched last summer but didn't put much importance into it until the drought hit.

Drip irrigation. Goes hand in had with my rainwater catchment system. It delivers water to the roots, and under the mulch so that the sun doesn't evaporate the water.

I save seeds. ALL seeds. I grow non GMO heirloom organic veggies. Everything gets saved.

I buy the smaller plants and trees, an usually can get the price knocked off $10 or so. It just takes a tiny bit longer to mature.

I've also traded plants, asked for cuttings, and propagated my own (prickly pear cactus, dragonfruit, and my aloe Vera started off as a volunteer in a pot with its momma at the nursery.)

I compost. Yard waste goes into the compost bin. Between mulching and weed pulling, I haven't had to mow my yard in 2.5 years. While I still have weeds, I just spend a weekend pulling them and here and there during the week. They're not totally under control, but better than the 2' tall weeds of when I first moved in.

Think of all the oddball stuff to compost. Newspaper, non glossy junk mail, non shiny egg cartons, any paper products.

I plant selectively. Everything I have planted is edible in some way or medicinal. I have a few succulents, a crepe myrtle, bougainvillea, etc that isn't edible. Those will be pulled and replaced when I find suitable replacements.

I go to the library and get books to see how to propagate what plants and when. Most books I've found at the library in the book store $0.25-$0.50 each :)

What I want to start doing is square foot gardening.

Oh and check craigslist free section for plants or garden supplies.

I also replace the handles on my tools rather than replace the whole tool. My shovel is on its third handle ($11 for handle versus $25 for new shovel) because I dug out a couple dozen giant yuccas and broke a handle or 2 lol. Same with my axe. It's on its third handle. Because of the yuccas also.

There's more, but I gotta go now that the marine layer lifted. Got work to do :)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: My frugal methods :)

I grow my own compost, because I'm not happy when I have to buy it. I always find bits of glass and plastic in the mix. I used to blame the prior caretakers of my community plot, until I switched to homemade and the garbage level dropped off rapidly. Right now I'm looking at the results of another snowstorm, and willing to pay any amount of money to get spring here faster. Too bad I didn't bribe the groundhog when I had the chance.


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RE: My frugal methods :)

Just showing my frugality.

Picked this banana pup up for $1. I planted 3 avocados, and a grapefruit. That gave me 4 15 gallon buckets for a total of $4. The pup was $5. So I had to pony up $1.

Also just re routed my washer to the strip garden. When I get more money, I'll finish running it to the avocado trees. Just ran out of money lol


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RE: My frugal methods :)

I admire frugal gardening and often visit the local recycle center to pick up free mulch. I have tried to transform my landscape and yard into edible plants, but have met with resistance from my wife who likes roses, flowering bushes and trees. I cry at night when I am alone due to the frustation of not being able to plant. Much of my transformation is done early in the morning before my wife gets up. I had a dogwood tree growing too near my house on the south side and I wanted to take it out and plant a couple of pomagranite and some blackberry bushes. I submitted my proposal to the spouse in charge but it was vetoed. But sometime in the early morn the tree was cut down and the roots removed by parties unrevealed. I now have 2 pomagranite bushes, a blackberry bush, 2 bush cherries, and a bunch of strawberries on that side of the house, if they survive the winter. An evil bandit who looks a lot like my wife rescued the dogwood trunk with roots and replanted it where I had planned to put another blackberry. When it comes to improving my yard, I limit my frugality to anything that does not make the yard look unattractive. So I use landscape blocks purchased on sale for my raised gardens. Here is my raised garden with artichokes (hope they survivie the winter) and a goji berry bush in each end.


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RE: My frugal methods :)

Here is my patio with some smaller raised beds where I grow fuzzy kiwis (again, if they survive the winter).


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RE: My frugal methods :)

Looks good charlieboring.

Luckily(?) I'm single. So I can be as cheap as I want. I haven't found that special lady that enjoys living off the land, and being self sustainable.

Plus I'm barely scraping by single. I couldn't support another mouth to feed.

PLUS, I don't think I could handle someone telling me what I could and couldn't plant haha. No ego issues, but anything edible gets planted. I have a hard time NOT planting something. Wait. Maybe I do need that voice of reason haha

On topic, my rainwater tote filled to 330 gallons, so I opened the valve to fill the other one, so I have minimum 330 gallons right now split between 2 totes. Hopefully it keeps raining, and fill both totes to 330, which means I'll have 660 stored for the trees in summer. So free water now, and free water when summer hits. Hopefully it gets me through summer until the next rainy season. Can't get more frugal than that :) Free water on fruit trees, means free fruit :D


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RE: My frugal methods :)

Destroying something that your spouse loves is far more destructive than putting that pomegranite tree somewhere else or living without it.

If the fact that you've shown total disrespect for someone you supposedly love fails to move you, remember:

This is the woman who one day will choose your nursing home.


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RE: My frugal methods :)

My frugality is based on the idea that I am trying to make my gardening a cost-effective hobby. Mainly, I don't want to end up spending more money on my garden that I would just buying the veggies from the store. But I understand economies of scale, and that its very hard to do that in some cases.

But here are some things I typically do:
I almost never buy plants. I start almost everything from seed. This includes tomatoes, peppers, etc, which you can sometimes make a good argument for buying plants. But I just think it makes no sense to buy a plant for $3.00 and if you are lucky you can recoup the price of it with your harvest. But some things make no sense:
I've seen cilantro plants, cabbage plants, lettuce plants, etc for sale at home depot for $2-$3 each. Now that makes no sense to me at all. You can buy a bunch of cilantro for $1 at the supermarket. Besides it bolts so quickly anyway. Same with lettuce. I can buy a head of cabbage for $1.50. Makes a ton more sense for seeds. Even squash, I've seen small squash plants for $2.00 at HD, and I;m thinking... if I put a seed in a pot, it will be that size anyway in a couple weeks, plus they do much better direct seeded.

- Save seeds - I save spinach seeds since they have such a short shelf life. I also save lettuce seeds and various others. Only inconvenience is that they take up garden space while the seeds mature.

- I use ivory soap for bugs - Besides wanting to go organic, I have a hard time justifying buying insecticide for $10 for trying to fix a problem a plant that at most might give me a couple bucks worth of produce. And even the organic insecticidal soaps are expensive as well. But I just buy an ivory soap bar, and grate it with a kitchen grater, then mix it as needed with water.

- pots - I use extra, unneeded plastic cups for pots. There is a restaurant we eat at called "Dickey's BBQ" that always gives is these plastic yellow cups. So I save them, and have quite a collection. I just punch a hole in the bottom, and use them as pots.


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RE: My frugal methods :)

I love to see my little 'pot ghetto' in the spring;
it pretty much consists of yogurt cups & cottage cheese cartons!


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I'm glad someone mentioned the deceitful behavior of the dogwood tree remover.
Deceit is deceit and I would never trust you again. Probably grounds for divorce. Once a deceiver starts, they don't seem to stop.


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RE: My frugal methods :)

Last year, I planted a few of the carrot tops that I'd normally compost. They grew, flowered and set seed. I collected much more seeds than I needed for the next growing season.

I've done the same with napa cabbage, celery, green onion. With pineapple, I got beautiful flowers and another pineapple - took 2 years.


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RE: My frugal methods :)

- I've never bought scallions (or spring onions as we call them here), from a nursery. I always plant the ones from the supermarket with roots. They grow beautifully & I just keep snipping the tops off as I need them.

- I planted store bought sweet potatoes at my old place. Very attractive, ivy like vines. I wonder if my tenants have discovered them.

- I keep seeds from fancy peppers I get at the supermarket, whose seedlings are expensive at nurseries or only available online.

- Generally here, plants of all types are cheaper at big box stores or supermarkets. The only drawback for me is that the roses are never named.

- I keep the pots, seedling trays etc from what I do buy at nurseries, as well as yogurt pots. I use both to start seeds.

- I've propagated roses without rooting hormone, just by pruning, wounding and keeping the soil moist. The growth is slow but worth it.

- When I was very desperate to add some life to a new, very small garden I received a box of succulents from a family member. They were so fast and easy to propagate and filled up that yard in no time.

- Currently in a much larger property, previously owned by an old lady who could not keep up with the garden. Beds hadn't been cared for in years. I'm using dried lawn cuttings (no herbicide, pesticide) as mulch.

- My husband is going to start keeping egg laying chickens. Looking forward to all that chicken manure and the egg shells as mulch for potted plants.


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