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 the garden. If you take additional cuttings over the winter your increases could fill up your garden!
Save the seeds as they mature. Plants are nearing the end of their production cycle and are putting on seeds to sustain the species next year. Collect your seeds and overwinter them in your refrigerator or a cool, dry, and dark place. I like the refrigerator because those plants that enjoy stratification get some additional cold which will help germination. If you are gathering seeds from hybrids don’t expect them to come true. I grew ‘Oranges and Lemons’ gaillardia for a while and its offspring, while beautiful, were red and yellow – not orange. Be sure to leaves some seeds for the birds. Coneflowers are a finch favorite. After I take what I want to collect I leave the seed stalks alone for the winter so the finches can have something to nibble on throughout the winter.
Compost! Keep that composter active during the fall by mixing green waste with brown waste. What’s a great source for brown waste? Leaves! We have leaves in abundance this time of year to get busy collecting and add some to your compost bin. If your neighbors bag and leave their leaves by the curb get yourself dressed up like a ninja and sneak out in the middle of the night and grab them – then put them in your bin! (OK you could just ask.)
Plant those potted mums. You bought mums this year didn’t you? Lots of people do, but I’ve also seen lots of people trash them once the blooms fade. Plant the mums in your yard or garden and you’ll get to enjoy them next year. If you don’t have a great place for them and prefer them in pots build a temporary holding garden bed and you can transplant them next year. I bought mums this year some were about $3 and others were $5 so with four mums saved over the winter I could save $12 to $20 on next year’s fall mum budget!
- Visit those discount clearance racks! I’ve filled my garden with many fugal finds from the clearance sections. Don’t buy annuals – that would be silly. Buy perennials that have ended their flowering periods. Buy shrubs or trees that have gone dormant. Don’t buy dead stuff! Check an upper limb or two of a tree by scratching a teeny tiny piece of the bark off. If you see green then that branch is still alive and should do fine in your garden. A word of caution here – don’t buy stuff that looks diseased – or you’ll bring that home to spread around your garden.
- Yes I can count but I had to throw in one more frugal gardening tip: dig tender bulbs and store in a warm location. Plants like caladiums or elephant ears may not be reliably hardy where you are but you can dig the bulbs (really tubers) and store them in a temperature above 50 degrees. Let them dry for a little bit before bringing them indoors. Or you can bring them indoors in a pot to grow over the winter.
OK so here’s another tip I couldn’t resist adding: divide plants like hostas, daylilies, and irises now to increase your stock for next year! When dividing irises cut the leaves back to prevent the wind from knocking them down while they reestablish their roots.