Cheap gardener? No, I’m Economical

Call it what you will, but I am a low-cost, budget-minded gardener!

OK, I am a cheap gardener. You have to be these days. Gardening is fun, and a good way to get your exercise, but it can be expensive. Prices are high at the garden centers for unusual succulents and most of the rest of them, too. And like most people, I live on a budget and love saving money. 

But I save money in many ways!

Like I tell my husband, “You don’t have to pay for a gym membership for me!” I get a bit of the exercise I need in the garden. I can even save money by not going to the garden center on Wednesday  after the Garden Club meeting!

( Because I went on Tuesday! LOL)

Hints and Tips to Save Money In The Garden - The Hypertufa Gardener

But seriously, you can be frugal buying your supplies used in making hypertufa planters. Almost every form or mold you use can be a cast-off from the kitchen or an object from the garbage, such as margarine containers, Cool Whip bowls, even large plastic bakery boxes which are used to package cakes and cookies. Use them once and discard, or recycle, depending on the condition they’re left in.

So here are some of my Economical Suggestions, one for each day of the week.

  •  Large sheets of plastic are needed to wrap your hypertufa for curing. Get the plastic table cloths from the Dollar Store. One dollar gets you a large sheet which can wrap one huge piece or several small pieces. And once more, they are pretty colors: pink, blue, green and so on.  Even a shower curtain or liner is perfect. If you can find these for a dollar, they are sometimes even made of a heavier plastic. And all of this plastic can be used over and over.

 

  •  Frosting buckets from your local grocery store’s bakery department are yours for the asking. They have lids which snap tight. The ones that I have are a nice squared oval shape which makes a nice smaller trough. It can even be used as its own “oven” –  no wrapping needed. Just form your trough in the bottom of this container, well-oiled or plastic-lined. When you have the sides as tall as you like, just fold down the plastic if you are using it, and pop the lid on. It will humidify itself easily in the container, and it also has the convenient carry handle! What more can you ask?

frosting bucket

 

  •  These same frosting buckets can be used for mixing soil and sand for planting, holding gravel and sand for       top-dressing, and anything else you can think of. You may even want to use one as a planter?  Keep one in the back of the car or trunk for when you may dig up a plant at a friend’s house. Store your Portland cement in them to keep it dry. Many uses come to mind. I use them in the garden as weeding containers. They are small and can be carried easily to the compost pile. Keep one on porch or deck for kitchen scraps ( remember the lid), and only make a trip once a day to the main compost bin.

 

  •  When I worked at the office, many people got potted flowers on occasions. Lilies. Mums. Primroses. Oxalis. And many more I can’t think of just now. Many of the people kept them for a few days, let them dry out, and……….Eeekkkkk! Dumped them in their trash cans! Grab them and take them home! Water them well and set them in that frosting bucket you keep in your car just for this situation. Take them home. I have many mums which survived this way. Lilies and other plants can be rescued if not too far gone. Try it. What have you got to lose?

 

  •  Buy some of your plants at local garden club plant sales or County Master Gardener sales. You can get lots of free advice there, or help choosing a plant for a particular place. And you will usually get a lot better price than the garden centers. Be sure to check at the end of the season to get a good rate on clearance perennials. And remember, plant from seed if you possibly can. That is so economical!

 

  •  Hopefully, you know this already, but just in case: Lowe’s  and Home Depot both offer a military discount of 10%. On anything! Get your Portland cement, and perlite, potting soil, garden sheds, dishwashers, refrigerators…..sorry, getting a little of topic. But you see what I mean? Plants are included in the discount too. Woot Woot! See how I save money by dragging my husband with me? And seriously, I am very grateful that Lowe’s and Home Depot honor veterans in this way. More should do it. Thank you!

Garden Supplies-The Hypertufa Gardener

 

 

  •  And the last suggestion can save your sanity! Have your morning coffee in the garden! When you are up early, and the sun is not quite up, you see dewdrops on the flowers, and little spider webs decorating the ground level plants (that was a fairy party that went on last night), it can be the most restful and stress-reducing activity of the day. I love to see the misty morning just beginning to light up. Everything looks so beautiful in the morning. You can have a cup of tea instead if that’s what you like. Just be sure to put the coffee grounds or used tea leaves in the garden too! It’s a good thing! {Now where have I heard that tag line?}

Now tell me some of your frugal ideas. I would love to hear yours.

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Kim, The Hypertufa Gardener

Hi, I am Kim and thank you so much for visiting my magazine! I am a gardener and a hypertufa maker. If you came here to learn about hypertufa, I have a lot of information. But I also write about flower gardening and using succulents which are great drought-tolerant plants.

Of course, I have some recipes and some random family concerns which I hope interest you too! Please page through the Magazine and find what you like! and Subscribe!

I also have a YouTube channel called Kim’s Gardens where you can see my hypertufa as I make them. ( See My About Page)

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