Each year we find it rather interesting that so many gardeners
wait until the official spring clock begins, then start a mad dash to grow
everything, only to find that they live in a shorter growing season
and plants do not have the time to produce what you see in catalogs.
In some areas, the plant is just about to do it's thing when the dreaded frost arrives...
bringing the life of a big show to an end before it even had a chance to begin.
So what is one to do?
The truth is, you don't have to own a greenhouse to get a jump start on the planting season.
Local home repair and department stores usually carry a decent supply of gardening needs.
Here in Northeastern Oklahoma, we grow things all year long.
(Sure, we've got plants in every room of the house, but that's another story.)
An electric heated mat with a plastic tray and dome works wonders.
Even hard to germinate seeds have a tough time not growing in one of these.
If you would rather chance it by direct planting, that is up to you,
but when you consider the money you sock into seeds, you expect them to come up.
With proper temperatures and conditions, they will, but isn't a small investment worth the plants you will grow?
A heat bulb in a table lamp performs just as well.
A sunny window. A spray bottle with water to mist on a regular basis.
FANCY PLANTERS AND POTS? NO NEED!
Butter dishes with holes poked in the bottom for proper drainage work fine.
Be creative. Be crafty. Save money for those all-you-can-eat shrimp events!
Come see how I made old tires into decorative planters!
No need to purchase cheap plastic drip trays for your plants, hit the Goodwill!
You can find a large assortment of plates with pretty patterns to match your pots...simply
use saucers, bowls and plates to catch the extra water from your plants. Most are only a quarter where we live!
SPENDING TOO MUCH ON YOUR PLANT LABELS?
Your local Dollar store should have very inexpensive horizontal blinds in plastic.
Simply dissect a set of them, and trim the slats to whatever length you need.
Write on them with a Sharpie pen and wa-la. Enough labels to last a lifetime!
Worried about the ink washing off? Put a strip of tape over the writing.
CAN'T AFFORD HIGH DOLLAR SHELVING FOR YOUR GREENHOUSE?
When it came time for additional shelving in our greenhouse, I resented the idea I would have to plunge profit into storage.
The economical answer? Bookshelf brackets!
The simple metal arms that fit into slots in two long strips of metal with various holes for differing levels. Wa-la!
Okay, so now we need lumber. I rummaged around in hubby's junk pile out back. After finding numerous boards of differing lengths, full of nails and some with knots, I cut all of the boards 4' long. Because they were not wide enough, I used two of them together. Using a roll of plastic sheeting (a few bucks at Wal Mart) I simply cut a good sized piece of sheeting, laid the two boards on the sheeting and wrapped them as if a Christmas present, using a staple gun to keep the plastic nice and tight on the boards. I used black sheeting instead of clear to hide the imperfections of the wood.
When this little project was completed, I was so thrilled with myself! Because I'd saved so much money, I invested $15.00 in some plastic sheet tablecloth material, also available at Wal Mart, sold by the yard. I purchased the off-white plastic that looked like crocheted squares. Easy to cut because of the square pattern, my greenhouse looks not only
organized, but quaint and cute to boot!
GARDEN CLOCHES FOR PENNIES?
With a wet tile saw, you can easily cut the bottom out of a large wine jug, or even a standard wine bottle.
You will be amazed at the jump start your plants will get with this recycled little greenhouse of their own.
Hit the recycling center for nice big clear glass jugs, or choose from the colored bottles.