Spring on the Cheap

Many of us are still grabbing jackets before we head outside, but there's no doubt about it-spring is here! Whether you live in a high rise apartment or a cottage in the country, these tips will help you and your kids make the most of this beautiful season.

Instead of expensive plants, try this-
There's no need to spend a ton of money at the nursery when you can just grab several packs of seeds for a few bucks. I remember when I was putting in my seed order from a catalog. I let each of my kids pick out a pack of seeds. My oldest daughter decided to try her hand at Curly-Q Cucumbers, seedless cucumbers that grow spirally. I did not think they would be able to grow, but I had to keep my promise and I ordered them just the same. Believe it or not, that summer, we had more Curly-Q Cucumbers than we knew what to do with. You never know what will happen with seeds-they are full of so much potential (just like kids). Go ahead and turn it into a family project and pick out seeds for everyone.

Instead of pricey greenhouses, try this-
When you are planting seeds, there is no need to buy expensive grow lights or portable greenhouses. I love saving the clear plastic covered containers from bakeries. These are the perfect little containers to start your garden because they are clear to enable the light to come in, but they are covered to protect them from the cold. If you have a sunny window, then you will have plenty of light for seeds to sprout.

Instead of peat pots or sprouting pellets, try this-
They may look inexpensive, but buying lots of them really adds up. Try my little trick of using cardboard paper towel or toilet paper tubes. Simply cut them up to lengths that are around two inches and fill them with potting soil. Rest them upright in a tray and use these babies to sprout seeds. Because they are open at the bottom, you can just plant them, tube and all, directly into the ground. The roots will grow out of the bottom and the cardboard is biodegradable. Wow! Cheap and eco-friendly-you can not beat that!

Instead of an outdoor gardening plot, try this-
Okay, so not all of us have acres to grow our cut flowers or organic veggies. If you have some spare containers, then that's all you need. But do not go purchase a bunch of pots at the nursery. You probably already have plenty around you. Perhaps you can put some drainage holes in an old wagon and grow some flowers or maybe you can find an old plastic bucket to grow some fresh tomatoes. Remember to rethink everything and get creative.

Instead of bottles of chemicals, try this-
No doubt about it, organic is the way to go! When you plant your little sprouts side by side, do some research on companion planting. When you plant certain herbs, flowers, and veggies side-by-side, they do their job at keeping away unwanted diseases and pests. Also, instead of buying weed killer, surround your plants with plenty of mulch (you can also use newspaper) so that weeds do not even get a chance to sprout. Save your money (and your health) and go organic this spring.

Remember, saving money is usually as easy as asking yourself this one simple question, "Can I use what I already have?" If you keep being creative, then you'll find those pennies adding up very quickly. Now for the real question-what are you going to do with all that extra zucchini?

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