5 Frugal Fall Garden Tips for Cheap Gardeners!

It's fall and the gardening season is winding down, but it's not too late to save a few dollars for next year.  There are lots of techniques gardeners can do this time of year to save money for next season.  Today I'm going to give you five ideas that will help you save money on next year's gardening budget! So if you're frugal ...read on!  If not... read on anyway! 5 Frugal Fall Garden Tips! Save tender perennials like coleus by taking a few cuttings and bringing them indoors for the winter.  Coleus makes a great house plant and is very easy to get rooted.  Sticking a few trimmings in a pot of moist soil will work fine.  You could also go the jar of water method and simply wait until roots form before potting your cuttings up.  In the spring time you can pot the whole plant back in…

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Paving Stones for Pathway Entrances

One of my recent projects was to complete two entrances to our front sidewalk from the lawn.  The openings were already there but didn't have any definition - or at least any good definition that a person walking along would see a clear path to the sidewalk.  I had some paving stones in the backyard set aside for another project (an extension to our patio) that I haven't had time to get to yet so I thought they could be used for these short sidewalk entrances.  I spent a little time with the assistance of my 2 year old son and 4 year old daughter clearing our the weeds and clumps of grass that were in the way.  They had a good time moving the weeds to their wheelbarrow and dumping them! Then I laid out the stones.  Some were 6"x9" and others were 6"x6" which allowed me to create rectangular shapes with sets…

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5 Signs of Autumn’s Arrival

The autumn equinox is this weekend which means fall will be officially here but along the way nature has been telling us that fall is here already.  Let's take a peek at some of the signs of fall around my garden. 5 Signs of Autumn's Arrival The annual discussion of what causes allergies begins when the golden rod blooms.  Goldenrod is completely innocent when it comes to your nasal issues.  The real culprit is ragweed.  Ragweed pollinates sends its pollen to other plants (and your nose) through the wind but goldenrod relies on its attractive golden plumes to  bring in beneficial pollinators! Don't blame the goldenrod, its just a sign of fall! Goldenrod (Solidago) Ragweed Other weeds begin to sprout this time of year too.  Cool season weeds like chickweed get their start when the weather gets more suitable to their liking.  Chickweed is also one of those plants that…

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A New Daylily and Iris Bed

Last week I put together a daylily and iris bed to cultivate and divide more plants for my little plant nursery.  Daylilies and irises are great plants for any garden since they offer so much for so little.  They grow strong without too much attention, enjoy the sun, and are tolerant various soils - which is good since this area has quite a lot of clay! My daylily and iris bed is a small one but will be expanded onto later.  It's about 12 feet long and 4 feet wide.  I tilled it first - which was a challenge since it was on a slope, then raked it smooth and tried to remove any grass clumps left behind.  Ideally I would have located it on level ground but I wanted to keep the level areas of the yard open for three crazy children that need room to run.  Who knows…

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Fall Color Project 2012 News

I mention yesterday that I would share a couple more things with you about the Fall Color Project 2012 so today here are they are! The first news to share today is that there is a prize available for the participants.  All you have to do to win the prize is to join in the Fall Color Project between now and December 1st, 2012 and you will entered to win a really awesome solar water fountain from WaterFountainPlace.com! There will be a random drawing on December 2nd and all participants of the Fall Color Project will be entered to win.  Unfortunately only those who live in the U.S. or Canada are eligible for the water fountain due to shipping.  If you live outside of those areas please go ahead and share your fall colors with us! The second bit of news is the new logo for the 2012 Fall Color…

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Mr. Tomato, Sphinx Moth, and a Garden Fresh Pizza

Please forgive the randomness of my title for today's post.  It's hard to sum up a weekend in just a few words!  Weekends are always busy times in the garden when the weather is as beautiful as it has been.  Sunday's humidity was a bit high in anticipation of the rain that's falling on the rooftop at this moment, but otherwise the weather was sunny with occasional clouds with temperatures in the 80's - great gardening weather! In the garden on Saturday we harvested a good batch of tomatoes.  They were mostly Amish paste tomatoes which were destined to become our dinner in the form of pizza!  I skipped a step on my pizza making and completely left off the sauce in favor of sliced tomatoes.  After the dough was rolled out I put a little olive oil on the dough then layered it with tomatoes to completely cover the pizza. It…

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5 Reasons Why Growing Organically in the Home Garden is Still Better

By now you've probably heard about the study that says organically grown vegetables are not any healthier than their "conventionally" grown counterparts.  If you haven't I'll sum it up in a nutshell.  The study examined the nutrients and vitamins present in organic produce and compared it to conventionally grown vegetables and didn't find a significant difference between the two.  This might be true, however it's not the end of the story. The study only measured the nutrient capacity of the vegetables and didn't factor in other significant factors. Side Note: Conventional is used to denoted plants grown with use of pesticides, herbicides, and artificial fertilizers.  These are more modern advances.  Before the advent of these chemicals all vegetables were grown organically! So let's take a look at why growing organic vegetables at home is still better than conventional vegetables! 5 Reasons Why Growing Organically in the Home Garden is Still…

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Wrong Plant Wrong Place

When we first moved into our house back in 2007 and were discovering what our garden had in it we found very little.  A nandina, a couple cedars, some reblooming daylilies, and a teeny tiny spirea were all the plants that were there. Not much to start a garden with but I was excited about the challenge.  The spirea had been cut back to nearly nothing.  It was so small that when it sprouted colorful yellow and red tinted leaves I wasn't sure what it was.  I dug up the little shrub and replanted it in another spot along our sidewalk so that I could plant tulip bulbs in the spirea's original location.  That was five years ago. Today this is how that little itty bitty spirea now looks: My spirea is now at least 3 feet around.  I'm sure that you noticed that the sidewalk to the left has…

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What I’m Growing on the Porch

For several years before we bought our house we lived in an apartment.  I still had the gardening bug and couldn't resist planting a vegetable garden in pots on the porch.  While today I have ground to plant in I still utilize the porch and deck on our house to grow a few plants.  Here's a look at a few porch and deck plants we're growing. I planted the coral red honeysuckle but the blue morning glories were volunteers.  Morning glories are beautiful plants but can be very prolific if allowed to go to seed. I plant moonflowers every year.  The extremely large white flowers that open in the evening are fragrant.  I planted 3 of these along the front porch but they did not all grow as I had hoped! Vine plants work great on the porch rails but that isn't all you'll find on our porch.  Check out…

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Growing Dogwoods (Cornus kousa) from Seed

A week ago we found ourselves at the doctors office for one of my children.  Nothing major (this time), just a regular check up and physical so she could run cross country (Very cool that a 7 year old wants to run cross country!).  After her appointment we left the doctor's office and found a dogwood tree, Cornus kousa, that was loaded with fruit.  To make a long story short (actually the rest of the story is below - otherwise there wouldn't be a post) we gathered a small bunch of berries(drupes) that had already fallen to the ground and brought them home to try and grow. Cornus kousa Cornus kousa is a dogwood that is native to Asia.  It's becoming more and more popular here in the U.S. due to its resistance to diseases like anthracnose which is brutal to our native dogwoods.  In fact a number of cultivars…

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