Spring will be here very soon, and I for one am excited to start getting my garden layout planned. Even though I know mostly what will be planted, it’s always a good idea to change things up a bit from year to year. The soil gets a break and there are pleasant surprises when we try something new.
One of the challenges we have when planning our garden is not going overboard. It’s not hard to get overwhelmed when walking into a garden center or nursery… and the plants and seeds are just the beginning. When you get past the actual plants, you are confronted with the garden gadgets.
Everyone that pages through the seed catalogs or wanders through the garden centers each spring knows the dangers. There among the tomato plants are the ‘problem solvers’ that entice us. Everything from irrigation systems to devices to get rid of critters. They are the special tools that promise a perfect gardening experience.
Of course, there is some merit to most of this stuff, but if one of the reasons you’re planting a garden is to provide inexpensive vegetables and fruit for your family, then you need to go in a different direction. You don’t want that beautiful beefsteak tomato to cost more than an actual beef steak! But, if you go for all the gadgets that promise the perfect garden, that may be exactly what happens.
When I think back to my grandparent’s and parent’s gardens, I don’t recall a bunch of contraptions with brand names attached to them, or bags of fertilizer or pesticides. What I do recall are homemade solutions to the problems that come with tilling up ground and sticking in some vegetables. Whether the problem was trying to discourage pests and critters from helping themselves to a snack, or improving the condition of the soil, my ancestors had a homegrown solution for it.
My ancestors used what they had on hand to tie up the tomatoes and beans. They created irrigation systems with a shovel, a hose, and maybe some milk jugs. They fought off the critters, big and small, with soap or even unsavory plants.
This year when you begin planning your garden, keep in mind some of the simplest methods that you can remember seeing people from your own past use. If you choose frugal solutions to your gardening problems, you may actually get the value you had hoped for out of your garden.
p.s. A fun resource for inventive ideas for gardening solutions is Joey Green’s Gardening Magic. You’ll find the information very useful and entertaining, as well.
Click on and take a look. This book could just keep you out of the gardening gadget aisle for another season!
And, please, if you have a favorite gardening solution, I would love to hear about it. Comment below to share whatever frugal gardening gadgets you’ve discovered.