Saturday, July 20, 2013

How Important is Fertilizer to Container Gardens?

I used to think that fertilizer was only for dedicated gardeners only. I thought my plants would do just fine without fertilizer, and that I didn't want to add that expense to my garden.

However, when I transplanted my Meyer Lemon tree, I wanted to baby it a bit and get some fertilizer for it. Turns out that the fertilizer I got wasn't specifically for citrus (kind of a bummer), so I could use it for my entire garden. I decided to go ahead and use it on my entire garden, since it wouldn't hurt.

I knew some of my plants weren't as green as they could be, but I was pretty surprised to see my plants go from washed out, to deep green.

These photos show the light color the foliage had been prior to fertilizing, and the color they turned or are turning into. This is just so interesting to me, and has turned me into a believer of fertilizing!

The container of soluble fertilizer I purchased was rather expensive, and I'd like to use compost/mulching and see if I get the same results. Next year! I should have some great compost next spring.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Ways I Saved

I was so inspired the first time I read the Prudent Homemaker's "Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments" that I started trying to pay more attention to and finding more ways to save.

Last week we bought fireworks using a $10 off coupon. We also bought some fireworks that were on sale buy one get one. We used many items in the freezer to make hamburgers, I used a coupon to get chips, and we bought some ice cream on sale to make milkshakes. We had a great Fourth of July!

I made do and didn't do much shopping. Mostly just some fresh produce. I have made a very careful list for this weeks shopping. I stocked up at Costco the first week of July. It was scary to spend a good 70% of our budget there, but it seems to be worth it so far. I don't have much money left in my budget, but I also don't need much.

We made some Fourth of July decorations, and did several crafts from items we already had.

We're starting to get some produce from our garden. Last week we harvested the last of our tiny strawberry yield. I clipped lettuce leaves for a salad, and the outer leaves are ready to be clipped again. We also harvested a tomato!

Somebody offered us a memory game, and two other stringing games. I said yes, and the kiddos are having fun playing with them!

I was able to fit some quart canning jars into the budget. They were the lowest price I've seen.

We sorted out our kid's clothing. I was able to pull out and put away everything our son would need for the summer (we'd been given most of the clothes from my sister), and our daughter had a few things that still fit from last summer, so she doesn't need anything either. Whew! Clothes can be expensive!

We went to the zoo for free with our membership.

We went to garage sales and found several items we were looking for or wanted. My husband found a nice skill saw for $20, and we found several children's books for about $.50 each. I also found a like-new tub of Lincoln logs for $3! I've been wanting these for our kiddos for a long time. This set retails at $45!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hangin' With my Gnomies

I used to think that garden gnomes were a little goofy.  I didn't understand why anybody would buy one without it being some sort of joke.  Pardon my error, friends! 

When my sister sent a link to the One Hundred Dollars a Month blog, I immediately enjoyed it and began viewing it daily to see what Mavis was up to for the day.  Soon after following her blog, I discovered that she's started a Send in the Gnomes Project to raise funds for St. Jude's Children's Hospital.  Per each gnome that she receives by August 1st (up to 10,000!!), she's going to donate $10.00.  Creative fundraiser, and that's an amazing amount of money for one person to fund.

Well, as I've been looking around for a decent-priced gnome to send in, I've learned to love them.  When I found this little guy on steep discount at Jo-Ann Fabrics, I HAD to buy one for Mavis...and myself!  So here is my first Garden Gnome.  I haven't named him yet.  Not sure I will!  Not sure if he's the first of many, or the first and last.  All I know is that he makes me smile every time I see him.