Posted by Tim Stobbs on May 21, 2008
I like gardening. Some days I’m not sure why. After all my current yard when I bought this house was in a complete mess. The weeds in the bed by the driveway were as tall as my oldest boy. Sad but true. Now two years later I’m making progress on mess, but it will take time to clean up. Perhaps the thing that makes me the most happy about my yard is most of the work has been just labour rather than money to clean it up.
You see we’ve lucked out that under the weeds there were lots of perennials and several different bushes and trees in the yard. Then we’ve managed to get our hands a several free perennials from my family. Some from in town due to a patio renovation and another load from the family cabin. My wife passed on flowers for mother’s day and instead took a load of annuals this last weekend instead. I like her logic, why have flowers which last only a week or two in vase when for the same price she can have flowers all summer long?
We also took advantage of the City of Regina’s Tinsel Mulch program to get a pickup truck of of mulch for a $5 donation to charity to provide some ground cover to keep the weeds down. Then some use of cornmeal, which I keep in the house anyways, has nicely reduced the ant population in my yard to a reasonable level.
The vegetable patch is now been planted which cost use one pack of seeds this year which cost us $2. We still have lots of seeds leftover from last year so this year’s garden is going to be mostly free other than the water and a little bit of fertilizer to assist in getting the plants growing. In future years I want to start using our own compost to provide the extra boost to our garden rather than commercial fertilizer.
My latest frugal project is to get my hands on some used patio stones to replace my aging deck. I currently have a lead from a co-worker I need to follow up on where I might be able to get patios stones for free or damn cheap.
Overall it is possible to have a nice yard for dirt cheap. The trick is to do it slowly and reuse or recycle as many things from your local supports as possible. The major part of this is to always discuss your gardening plans with your friends. You might be surprised what people have sitting in the yard that they want someone to take away for free or nearly free.