Frugal Gardening convert!

miraclemama(PNW/z8)July 28, 2005

Hello everyone! Three years ago we moved into an old farmhouse on acreage. The place , both house and land , were in such disrepair , that people may have thought we were crazy , but we wanted to finish raising the kids out where you can smell sweet air and see open sky as far as the eye could see. The 3/4 acre we actually live on(we are actually sitting on a hundred acres that are used for grass seed) was covered with dead plants(at least I think they were plants!) , brambles , and super-fried grass. The first year was spent clearing everything out that couldn't be saved including dead trees. Our soil is hard-packed clay so we have been throwing down any kind of mulch we can get our hands on to help amend the soil. 2 years later we have several gardens(cottage-style) around the house. Her are the ways we practiced frugal gardening:

1. free wood mulch from a local tree-removal company

2. leaves from our trees for mulch

3. a local lumber mill sets out odd ends of wood for free have been used for fencing and window boxes

4. compost pile made from kitchen scraps and prunings

5. our sheep and chickens provide plenty of manure for manure tea

6. free horse manure from a local farmer

7. from the trees we needed to remove , my husband used the branches to make arbors and garden stakes

8. free coffee grounds from starbucks

9. we use an old bathtub for a swimming pool for ducks

  1. we dig out the weeds in our yard(crazy I know) , but wonderful fodder for the sheep and chickens(remember what the chickens eat , we eat)

  2. we ahve made several homemade birdbaths and feeders out of scraps from this or that

  3. my husband finds piles of brick or rocks at jobsites

  4. free large pieces of cardboard(for mulching)from the local feed store

  5. old windows have become gates

  6. a friend and I take cuttings of roses/plants to share with each other(free plants , yahoo!)

  7. we leave our grass clippings on the lawn to feed the


  1. used hay and shavings from the sheep pen or chicken coop are used as mulch or go to compost pile

  2. we buy alot of our perennial in the fall when nurseries are getting rid of inventory. we have to wait a season to see them in bloom , but is worth the wait

  3. we use used coffee and tea to water houseplants because they love it!

  4. comfrey leaves make an excellent foliar tea for perennials and veggies and also makes a great feeding mulch.

I hope I haven't put you all to sleep! One thing Matt and I learned in the last couple of years is that with very little money and alot of gumption , you CAN have a beautiful garden. miraclemama

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Wow, miraclemama! That's fantastic. I hope your kids are loving the country life; you are setting a wonderful example for them in the way you are managing your land. I know it's a lot of work, but very satisfying too. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2005 at 3:13PM
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bruggirl100(z9 FL)

"(remember what the chickens eat, we eat)"

Yeah, and when I started raising chickens and saw that chickens eat where they poop, I started only eating chicken from the grocery store, because I saw how they were raised, and they don't poop in their food.

If you are what you eat, I don't wanna be chicken poop! LOL

    Bookmark   July 31, 2005 at 4:41PM
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