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Mid-Atlantic Gardening: Garden Smarter and Save Money

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Lowe's Mid-Atlantic Regional Contributor Julie Martens makes garden plans to save time, effort, and cash in her 2012 garden.

MidAtlantic-Julie Martens
MidAtlantic-Julie Martens

Gardeners are some of the thriftiest people I know, and I’m no exception. I’m on a mission to garden smarter and more economically this year. I started by letting heirloom lettuce go to seed last summer to provide a seed supply for this year. (See above.) Check out my latest plans to save.

More Growing Space—With Minimal Effort

Every year I lack room to grow all the tomatoes I want, so I plant them too tight. Not smart.

This year I’m freeing space in my raised beds by growing potatoes in grow-bags. These geotextile pots cost about $12 apiece but are reusable for many years. They need little space, require less water than traditional containers, are ideal for potato growing, and save me from building another large bed. And I can grow all the tomatoes I want!

MidAtlantic-Julie Martens

Shift Problem Plants

For two years the catmint has overpowered the Jacob’s ladder.

Instead of endlessly trimming the catmint, I’m moving it to a steep hillside, where it can happily ramble. The savings I anticipate?

  • No weekly catmint trimming (effort saved)
  • The Jacob’s ladder might actually grow (money saved by not replacing a plant)
  • No more wrestling the mower on a steep slope (more effort saved)
MidAtlantic-Julie Martens

Mark the Spot
I’m adding plastic stakes to beds this spring to mark where to add bulbs in fall. This way I’ll actually know how many bulbs I need instead of just buying what catches my eye (a sure path to garden-induced bankruptcy). This also will prevent digging up existing bulbs as I plant new ones. (Am I the only one who does that?)

Ditch the Dying
Another kniphofia has died (this makes two in two years), so I’m researching other orange-flowered perennials, looking for something less finicky about drainage. A plant I don’t have to replace keeps money in my pocket.

What are your plans for saving time and money this year in the garden? I’d love to know. I suspect I’m not the only one on a mission to save.

See more by this author.