Thursday, March 22, 2018

Another Garden Hack Because My Cheapness Has NO Boundaries!

Spring time consumes me with gardening!
The weather is beautiful and I just want to be outside with my hands in the dirt and the sun shining on my bear with me with all my gardening posts!
I thought I'd pass along another fun little gardening hack:
It's a big word that means making smaller plants
 from your original plant.  
Best of all, it's FREE!

Lavender and rosemary are extremely easy to propagate.  Mix some potting soil or seed starting mix with water and fill any container you have that has drainage holes in the bottom.  I save these flower packs from the garden store and just use them year after year.  Clip off the new to fairly new growth from your mother plant, strip off the bottom leaves and bury deep into your potting mix.  Keep soil moist but not damp and in a few weeks you'll see new growth appearing!

Transfer your new little plant to your favorite sunny garden spot, feed well with compost or fertilizer, and you now have half a dozen or so new plants to fill your garden beds.  
It costs you nothing but time. 

Same thing goes for tomatoes.
Whether you grow your tomatoes from seed or purchase from the garden store, clip off the "suckers" from your plants.  "Suckers" are the small shoots that grow out of the joint where the branch of the plant meets the stem.  Simply bury the sucker to the top leaves and keep soil moist.  They will wilt at first, but in a few days you'll start to see them spring back to life and begin new growth. 

I got FIVE new plants started from the suckers of just ONE plant!
That makes a cheapskate like me squeal with delight!
So when my tomato plants are spent, I'll just plant a whole new crop and we will be able to enjoy fresh salsa all the way into October.

You can also read about how I propagated my hydrangea

You can follow the hashtag
on Instagram to see how the garden grows.
(and because I'm a total nerd
 with nothing else exciting going on right now.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Garden Hack For the Budget Challenged

I usually want all the things, and I want them NOW...
I just don't want to pay for them!
Gardening can be very expensive but if you get out and check out your surroundings, you may find that there are plenty of resources to be found - for nothing!
The Colorado River runs through our town.  One day, Doug took the kids down to one of the river banks to explore.  While there, we found the most amazing bamboo forest.....and I've been harvesting from it ever since for my garden.

There is lots of luscious, green bamboo around.  
You don't want that! 
It takes a strong arm, a sharp machete, and a LOT of work to get it.
Go for the dried, dead stuff.  
Chances are it's already laying on the ground ready for you to pick up, or a simple pull and it comes right out of the ground.  Plus, it's easy to just snap off the lengths you need instead of getting out the hacksaw.

See, I'm all about frugality AND energy conservation!

So many sizes and shapes, perfect for every need in the garden.
I haven't bought tomato cages in YEARS because I can pick bamboo for FREE!

Bamboo weathers beautifully and is super sturdy for climbing plants like cucumbers, cantaloupes, peas, and squash.

Add a pack of clothes pins from the dollar store and you have pretty garden markers for herbs and flowers.

Just be aware, in a house full of children, the bamboo might also be used for things other than gardening!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Starting a Raised Bed Garden - Creamer Style!

Lately I've had lots of friends ask me how to start gardening 
so I decided to make a blog post on how I garden on the 
cheap and dirty...otherwise known as "Creamer Style."

First, have your handy hubby (or sisters, do it yourself!) 
build a square box with corner reinforcements.  The boxes need to have lumber 8-12 inches tall and about 4 feet long.  We buy 8ft. long, untreated boards at Home Depot and have them cut in half.  
Once you have your boxes assembled, cover the bottom in at least two layers of cardboard.  This will smother the underlying grass and attract earthworms, they love to eat cardboard!

Lay yard debris on top of the cardboard.  
We have an area behind our barn where we take all our yard debris like grass cuttings, limbs, twigs, and leaves.  I contribute a lot to it during the winter months and by spring it has mostly decomposed.  This layer will help provide some drainage for the garden soil and will put organic matter into the soil as the season progresses.

Next, add a mixture of garden soil and compost then water well.  That's it!  Your garden is now ready to plant or you can leave it to sit until you (and the weather) are ready.

As you can see, compost is a big part of the Creamer garden.
We were gifted this wonderful composter when neighbors of ours moved.  It's a Good Ideas Dual Senior Compost Wizard and it  makes quick work of breaking down all our kitchen scraps, 
along with a handful of earthworms.

We also have that spot by the barn I told you about for the bigger stuff.  Just turn it with a shovel every now and then, and by the end of each season you'll have some nice compost!

There's no reason gardening has to be expensive.  With a small investment in the beginning, your garden boxes should last several planting seasons.  Just keep adding your composted materials and you'll never have to buy soil or fertilizer!

Get out there and plant something!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Baseball Mom Survival Bag

Baseball season is in FULL SWING
(haha, no pun intended!).

We find ourselves on the road a lot this time of year and I thought I'd share a handy tip that will keep you prepared because let's face it, we all leave the house in a hurry, and most days I'm lucky if my six year old leaves with matching shoes!

Pack your bag with these essentials and leave it in your vehicle.  
I put my stuff in a small backpack, that way I just sling it over my shoulder and we're off!

    Wipes                       Hand Sanitizer
Flushable wipes       Sun Screen
Kleenex                     Bug Spray
          Bandaids                 Pepto Tabs or Tums
Powder                  Chapstick
              Benadryl                 Antibiotic Ointment
Ibuprofen                     Snacks

Just add chairs, baseball equipment, and a case of water 
and we are off for a day of baseball.
All bases are covered.
(haha, pun intended!)

And if you're wondering, my son is the one in the iron mask.