Save Money like Crazy!
- The Simple Life
By Sheryl Simons
(With a small garden)
Who isn't trying to save money this year? I just saw an ad for old-fashioned Hollyhocks, 5 plants for only $54. Huh? A package of seeds is less than $2! What they don't tell you is, they won't even bloom the first year! They are just baby plants they just planted! So, when you buy those $54. plants, you will still have to wait 2 years for those flowers! What a rip-off! You plant them in August, right where you'd like them to come up and keep them moist. In just 2 weeks you will see little plants coming up. And you can have as many as you want, not just 5. Don't do anything more but make sure they have a bit of moisture and pull any weeds a couple times. Then winter comes along. Those little baby plants are waiting for spring, just like you are. When spring comes, hollyhocks are one of the first plants you will see, nice and green, even with snow piles still around. When the ground thaws, you might have too many plants! That's okay, dig the ones that are too close, and move them somewhere else, or make your garden area bigger.
When they send up a flower spike, cut if off that's right, cut it off. That will tell the plant to fight back with several flower spikes, not just one spindly one! By July, or so, you will have a nice full hollyhock garden, with blooms that just won't quit until winter comes again. Where the flowers were, will be seedpods. You can leave the flower spikes right there and the seeds will take care of themselves, falling to the ground and planting themselves, or you can cut the spikes and save those seeds. But put them in a place they can dry, not in a sealed jar, or they will rot. I like to put them in an envelope, then a shoebox (with a few holes in the lid), in a cool dry place until the next year. Hollyhock seeds have been known to last 100 years, under the right conditions! You can give them to your grandkids! But if you get them started before winter, they will bloom the next summer. The trick is to just get them started the summer before and even though they are less than a year old, they are still 2 year old plants. They just have to go through a winter.
Stay tuned each week for more great ideas about saving money in the garden!
Are Veggie Gardens worth the effort?
(Based on average grocery prices)
3 Zucchini per week @ 1.69 a pound (grocery store prices) = $10.14
3 Green pepper a week @ 1.59 a pound = 4.77
30 lbs potatoes @ 10 lbs for $3.69 = $11.07
25 quarts of canned tomatoes @ $1.00 a 15 oz. can = $50
25 pints of canned corn @.79 for 15 oz. = $19.75
10 buttercup squash @ .59 a lb. = $11.80
25 pints canned green beans @ .79 per 15 oz. can = $19.75
40 onions @ 5 lb for $3.69 = $14.76
= a weekly savings of $33.74! and just think how much healthier you will be eating. Also, organic prices are nearly double these prices and chances are your home grown produce will be truly organic!
That's just an example of savings. Some crops, such as corn may take up more space and be more labor intensive than you want to put in. Rhubarb, for example is planted once, and just comes up on it's own year after year, as does asparagus, with hardly any work at all. You decide. Cherry tomatoes can be grown in a pot on the deck. Weeding and be nearly eliminated with mulch, or plastic. Watering can be automated with hoses and a timer. Container gardening can keep things close to the back door. There will be an initial investment, but much of the equipment, such as a canner will last for years. And some items you can harvest, could be nearly free. Consider the free apples from your neighbors orchard = free jelly, pies, applesauce, apple cookies, apple muffins. Dried, canned or frozen, you can keep these for a year. So, how about those free raspberries growing in the woods? My favorite nearly free food is applesauce, what is yours?
Keeping it Simple,
Sheryl Email: thesimple_life@...