Week 40 – Gardening on the fiscal cliff

All the news is about the fiscal cliff.  How much money will I have?  How will it affect me?  This week we didn’t meet Rob at the station, but the subject for today was gardening inexpensively. There are a few ways we can save money and conserve and our garden won’t fall over the cliff and we’ll still have enough money in our budget for gardening.

Revisit some of the ideas from Week 32 – It’s not to early to think about Spring – that week we talked about starting plants from seeds or taking cuttings of our blood leaf, coleus, geraniums and other perennials that we can put in the windowsill and watch them take root over the winter and be ready for planting near Spring.  These are free plants from your garden.

Reuse your containers from last year to plant seed starters.  In another month or so it will be time to get some of them started so they will be ready to plant in April/May.  I reuse the trays that I get from the garden center to plant seedlings.  Just remember if you have multiple seeds in one tray to mark what they are so you can plant them in the right spot.

Each seed packet should tell you how long it takes to germinate.  Your local garden center should have a list of when to start seeds indoors and when you can safely plant them outdoors.  There are some cool crops you can plant in early Spring and some need warmer earth like April or even closer to May.

It should be popular this year to have a vegetable garden; another great way to save some money.  If you start your veggies from seed it’s a great inexpensive way to go.  Check the germination times and plan on starting the seeds in time for them to sprout and get a couple of inches tall so you have a nice plant to put outdoors when it’s time.

Another way to conserve money and resources is water deeply and less frequently.  Plants do better when they get a good soak and their roots can go deeper into the ground.  When plants just get sprinkled, the water does not go down deep and the plant roots stay closer to the top of the ground and can get too hot, and the plant doesn’t get established as well and is harder to keep alive. 

Group plants according to how much water they will need so you don’t have to water unnecessarily.  There are many great Xeriscape (don’t need much water) plants you can grow in Colorado that have beautiful blooms and don’t need as much water.  Do some research and plant native plants.  The local garden center has some great booklets to help you decide which Xeriscape plants would work best for your conditions.  This type of gardening was developed here in Colorado for our hot dry climate and that pesky clay soil.  It’s catching on in other regions as well as their conditions change.  People tend to think for hot dry climates that the plants are all grassy and brown and ugly, but there are many Xeriscape plants that are beautiful.

It’s always fun to remember we can do things the old-fashioned way.  It takes a bit more time but is so less expensive than buying all the ready to plant items.  It’s a great family project and very educational for young gardeners.  There’s nothing better than getting out and digging around and getting dirty and learning about nature and the earth and then sitting back and watching your hard work produce beautiful blooms and fruits.

So far, so fun!!

To view Rob’s segment from today, visit:  http://www.9news.com/rss/story.aspx?storyid=308290


About pbodwell

Master Gardener; Nat'l Award Winning Photographer; Garden Writer; Artist - art books, print maker, hot glass, wire jewelry designer; sometime quilter; new homesteader; bee keeper; very crafty; Baseball fan, enthusiast, and researcher; all things vintage
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