Getting the Garden Started for Spring, Late

Ah, the month of April. It comes in fits and starts – cruelly tempting you with hot warm days full of sunshine, and then punishing your optimism by swinging violently back into winter. This past weekend we had a much needed injection of sunshine and heat, getting up to 80F and just as quickly this Monday we dropped 50F and had sleet and snow, continuing on into today.

But while we did have the nice weather, we took advantage. We spent lots of time outside with our son, walking around the neighborhood, chasing him around the yard. And while he and his pregnant mother napped, I took the time to get the vegetable garden ready.

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A Free Shed

Another score for our family! We’ve had a very full garage all summer and into the fall – filled with supplies for remodeling, strollers, toys, a wagon and a bunch of lawn items: lawn mower, trimmer, spreader, cart. It’s been so full we haven’t been able to fit my wife’s car in there. That’s fine when the weather’s nice, but we’re quickly approaching Winter here. And I fully subscribe to the “happy wife, happy life” philosophy. Brushing snow off the car at 4 am does not make for a happy wife.

The solution to this is pretty obvious to us: get a shed. We just didn’t have to time to go get one and it wasn’t in our budget in the short term. But we got lucky and scored one for free! Whoo hoo, free shed!

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Free Plants: Part Two

Image © User:Famartin / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

At the beginning of this month I published an article about getting plants free by asking for cuttings/splits. A number of people liked the idea and recommended it, but of course plenty of reddit complainers said that was worthless advice, “sketchy” and suggested people should set up neighborhood plant exchanges instead. Well, let’s try and satisfy some of the complainers by suggesting even more ways to get free plants.

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Landscaping and Gardening the Cheap Way: Free Plants

Here in Western New York we’re getting very close to our typical first frost of the Fall. This means every gardener is scrambling to make sure they get their gardens and yards ready. It’s the time of year where people start thinning and splitting their perennials: Hostas, Irises, Lilies, even Rhubarb. Which means that for someone who is very frugal and has a bare yard it’s a great time to scrounge for free plants and get your landscaping and gardening started off nicely on the cheap.

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Vegetable Garden Update

Back in August, I detailed the new vegetable garden raised beds that my wife and I put in our backyard. The garden beds were set up primarily for next year’s Spring/Summer planting, so there hasn’t been too much commotion – but we did get the rhubarb plants split and transferred. Those suckers must have been pretty old because they had huge roots but yielded very little, though we did manage to get a couple strawberry rhubarb pies out of them. I’m guessing the previous owners never split them – and I know the soil there certainly was not great.
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DIY Savings: Building a Vegetable Garden

Here at home we tend to buy a lot of veggies now that we’re eating healthier and slimming down. One of our favorite snacks is a little homemade salsa and chips. But it’s a pain in the butt to run to the grocery store to get a little cilantro or a single jalapeno, and buying more of them just leaves us with rotted veggies from not using it all quickly enough. Plus we’ve received herb gardens as gifts, and we’ve been interested in starting our own tomatoes, peppers, beans and other veggies. It certainly helps considering the costs of tomatoes are getting pretty high around here. So, we’ve decided to build a vegetable garden. I thought I’d share the process, things I found, and also break down the cost. This is more of a hobby pursuit so we’re not really expecting to come out ahead financially – though maybe I’ll do a retrospective and see over time. In any case, the largest costs will be the upfront cost of supplies and labor in getting the garden set up.

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