There was a time when to buy seeds to have a garden was out of reach for our family financially. Hard to believe? Living paycheck to paycheck for many means even a $5 or $10 splurge can hurt the family budget. During that time we had an acquaintance who lived in a company trailer at their job location. She was an individual who did not pay attention to her home or yard. One day I noticed a huge tomato plant growing near her steps into the trailer. It had lots of leaves and small yellow blooms. Her explanation? Her kids didn’t like to eat seeds in tomatoes so she picked them out and tossed them out the door into the hard scrabble dirt! Thanks to plenty of Florida rains this plant managed to grow. Now I don’t advocate simply throwing trash out the door but it did teach me a lesson. No matter what fresh food we bought, if there were any seeds I saved them and tried growing them. Some worked, some didn’t. But I had more luck than not. One problem with this was/is that many times they are not heirloom but some form of a hybrid plant so no telling what you will end up with. But a few tomato or eggplants or bell peppers and hot peppers started this way or even a zucchini will give a family a few cents in savings towards buying seeds or starts at a garden center.
This next tip is not an original one by any means but it sure is a handy one. Those little seed pots that garden centers sell are pricey when one’s dealing with a tight budget. However everyone uses toilet paper. Paper towels and aluminum foils are also common items in many households.
So I tucked a cute basket in each bathroom. As a roll is finished, I ask everyone to simply toss the cardboard tubes in the basket. If you’re friends and family already think you’re kinda crazy anyway, ask them to save for you too. It’s pretty surprising how fast they add up.
So we’re going to use these pieces of landfill fillers and instead re-purpose them into something handy for your budget garden! The longer rolls from foil or paper towels can be cut into 3 smaller tubes. Then at one end of the roll, you will cut it into four flaps. They don’t have to be measured out to even pieces.
Cut and then fold each flap over to form a little cup.
Then fill each one with some good dirt such as Miracle Grow Seed Starter or other store brand. When it’s time to plant your seedlings, simply dig a small hole, open the bottom of the roll by unfolding the flaps. No need to remove the seedlings. Rather the open bottom now allows the roots of your seedling to grow down into your garden soil. The roll itself will help keep insects such as worms from having easy access to your new little plants! All around it’s a win-win choice!
Remember trying to begin this walk we want to be self-sufficient and take care of our stress by not adding to it! Have fun!!!!