Clever Gardening Hacks for the Penny-Pinching Gardener

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If you're like other homeowners, you probably find gardening as a great hobby that brings healthy and tasty rewards. However, tending your own annuals, perennials, succulents or edibles has its own set of challenges. For some, the project can be expensive and time consuming, while for others, space is always at a premium.

In any case, though, a lot of savvy homeowners/gardeners were able to solve the aforesaid problems with little elbow greasing and resourcefulness. And if you're really keen to have a garden of your own and the issues above are also your main concerns, you can overcome them with these three frugal and eco-friendly gardening hacks.

Clever Gardening Hacks for the Penny
Image Source: Creative Commons Flicker  Image Credit: gnuckx

Make a Vertical Garden Out of Salvaged Rain Gutters
If you have a blank wall that needs beautifying, you can breathe life to it by creating a vertical garden from salvaged rain gutters. These hardy materials make for an excellent, inexpensive and surprisingly beautiful gardening systems. Once installed they add dimension and movement to an otherwise blank wall.

Since this garden system is set high above the ground, you will keep hungry slugs, porcupines and other critters from eating your plants. Just don't forget to drill holes in the bottoms of the gutters to allow proper drainage and set them on a wall that receives a lot of sunlight and has easy access to water. Also, if you're planning to plant edibles, make sure that your salvaged containers are non-toxic.

So how do you water this gardening system, you ask? If you place the scores within easy reach, you can use your ever trusty hose or water can to tend to the watering needs of your greens. However, if you've created several panels and you've set some of them up high, you will have to install an automatic irrigation system, which you can purchase at your local home improvement or gardening store. Just attach a hose to the system, then run the drip lines at the back of the gutters.
If you can't find used rain gutters for your vertical garden project, however, other great alternatives you can try include pallet boards, plastic trays, old shutters with slats, and burlap bags.

Raised Garden Beds Made Out of Old Tires
Is your compact outdoor space limiting you from creating several raised garden beds on the ground? Or, perhaps, your lawn just don't have the right type of soil for cultivation? Don't lose hope just yet. If you have old tires catching grime and dust inside your garage, you can put them into good use by turning them into raised garden beds.

To get the tire in shape, you need to remove one of its sidewalls using a jigsaw. Leaving one sidewall intact will provide the stability needed to support the combined weight of the soil and plants. The trough-like portion of the intact sidewall will also help in retaining water, thereby keeping the soil moist.

When done removing the sidewall, position the tire where you want it to be since it would be impossible to move the tire around once the soil is in. When set in place, line the inside of the tire with a landscape fabric, fill it with soil and then start planting.

Create Hanging Planters Out of Common Household Items
If you love gardening but you have little time attending to greens, or maybe you're new to the craft and you'd like to start out small, the easiest thing you can do to satisfy your green thumb is to create hanging planters out of the items you already have at home.

Things such as plastic soda bottles, brightly colored rain boots and plastic shoe organizers are great items you can use to make hanging planters. You can get away with some cuts here and there and punching little holes for drainage. Add hooks or support clamps onto their backs and fill them with soil and plants. Then, hang them on your fence. Or, if you're really short on space, you can hang them out your windows or inside just above the kitchen sink.

McIntyre
About the Author:

The content above was penned by one of the regular contributors of McIntyre StoneMasonry Company, a company based in central Scotland that offers a full range of stonemasonry services.

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