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Blog Posts on My Frugal Life:

Jade Plants
Sunday, February 10, 2013 | By gogalyboo

on a local free cycle I answered this ad "Back quite awhile ago someone was asking for plant cuttings. I took a cutting off my Jade and it is in dirt. But she never showed. Anyone want a Jade plant? This particular Jade is both lucky and I swear a predictor of how things are going. Cuttings from the original Jade and their offspring started in 1940. Jade plant thrives, so do marriages. Jade dies, marriage does too. Given to business friends and they have thrived in business. Now it is just fun to share. My jade has bloomed every year."

I received the plant and very anxious to start it in its new home!

  

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Murder you can get away with!! lol
Friday, June 29, 2012 | By gogalyboo

When murdering your weeds with chemicals is not your style. Few Different ways with stuff we usually have in our own houses.

1. Water: Plain old H2O can be used as an extremely effective weed killer. As a matter of fact, boiling water is more effective than many of your store bought weed killers in wiping out unwanted vegetation. Put a kettle of tap water on the stove and heat till boiling, then pour on the weeds you wish to kill. Boiling water is a great way to clear out vegetation on a wholesale basis, like driveways and sidewalks. But be warned, boiling water is not selective. It will cook and instantly kill any plant that it comes in contact with and this includes underground roots of nearby plants.

2. Bleach: Place some bleach in a spray bottle and spray on the weed you wish to remove. The bleach chemicals will evaporate or dissipate in about two days (or less but better safe than sorry), making the area safe for planting. Again, bleach will kill anything but if you do get some on a plant you want to keep, just wash the plant off.

3. Vinegar: An organic homemade weed killer. Either white or cider vinegar will work. Vinegar will kill back (kill the leaves but not the root) any plant but works best on young plants because they do not have enough energy stored in the roots to regrow their leaves. If vinegar is applied to more established weeds enough times, the plant will eventually deplete its stored energy reserves and die.

4. Rubbing Alcohol: It draws water out and helps to evaporate it quickly. Guess what? If you put it on a plant, it will do the same thing. You will be basically sucking the life blood out of the weed. Makes you want to run right out and try it, huh? But again, rubbing alcohol is non-selective. It will kill any vegetation it comes contact with.

5. Corn Meal: it just stops the weed seeds from ever developing. Corn Gluten is a pre-emergent, which is a fancy way of saying that is it is a seed birth-control. Corn meal scattered around an area will keep any seed in that area from growing into a plant. This means a weed seed or a desirable seed. This method is a good option for areas that you plan on planting grown plants in.

6. Newspaper: Weeds just smother them. Laying down a layer of newspaper at least 4 sheets thick (the more the better). The weeds that are already there will die from lack of sun and the weed seeds will not be able to sprout because they are not getting any sun to start with.

7. Mix and match: For example, the boiling water can be mixed with the salt or the vinegar (or both) for a super weed killer. Make sure when combining chemicals that there are no adverse reactions.

8. Liquid dish: Add a few drops soap to the liquid homemade weed killers for added effectiveness. The soap acts as a sort of bonding agent and will help the weed killers to stick to the weed more effectively.

9. Epsom salt: The way to get stumps out of the yard in to pour a solution of on it. It is supposed to help destroy the root of the tree.

   

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Spring is here!
Tuesday, March 01, 2011 | By MzScarlett

Going out a little each day if the weather is nice at all; and doing a bit of yard cleaning up makes it so much easier; I've had violets and helebores in bloom already; roses were pruned and they have new growth showing me that though snow covered everything recently spring is coming!

 Daffodills and tulips are sprouting up slowly but they are gradually getting larger; so are the calla lilies'; in fact, if we don't get rain shortly I will be back there watering them!

Most of my pots were cleaned up; and the plants groomed; most all of them are sprouting new growth! Painting pots with yellow and tangerine/pumpkin spray made winter months so incredibly cheerful! wonderful to see when overcast or raining out! (have one out my front window where I can see it!  My neighbor enjoys my yard so much she takes pictures of the pots even when covered with snow!

Doing a little daily if possible; or a little in the AM; then going back out instead of overdoing it all at one time, just makes it look so much tidier when I go out; still have leaves left to rake though not to many; but it is getting to look so good for me to go out and enjoy a cup of coffee at the patio table even though  I have to be well bundled up!

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Tucking in for the Winter
Monday, November 29, 2010 | By begonia

I’ve been tucking in the back (and front) “40s” this past few days (and I have the aching back to prove it)! The weather is going to dip down into the teens Fahrenheit in the next few days, and now is the time to get these final tasks done.

Our small town gives us excellent value for our tax dollar in the areas of street management and yard waste pick up. They are picking up the last loads of brush and leaves today. I left a good size pile of sticks and branches. Our trees are large and mature. They drop a lot of wood into the yard. Most of it I burn in the chimineas, but I didn’t have time for as many fires as I would have liked this year, so my kindling pile is now on the curb along with raspberry canes and lots of willow, which falls continually and is quite a nuisance.

I’ve been covering and uncovering the cold frame daily. Once the temps started falling into the teens, I started banking it with a bale’s worth of straw “slices.” A kind neighbor picked up the bale of straw at the village composting site and gave it to me. People use them for decoration and then discard them.  (It would be nice to find a few more—I need to cover my strawberries at some point.)

I carried my lawn chairs, benches, and tables up to the patio and covered most of them with a vinyl tablecloth and stowed my one marble top in the birdseed bin. (Marble weathers badly here if it isn’t protected.) I also put away miscellaneous garden ornaments that I had missed earlier, and my husband stowed away the terra cotta in another outdoor storage area. I don’t think I could squeeze one more thing into the wood box!

The rain barrels have been disconnected from the house and drained.  I’ve left one watering can outside so that I can water the cold frame a few times before I pick that last salad!

I also worked on tidying the north side of the house and compost bins. I put another layer on the full one and cleared the other side so that I could add layers of chicken manure and kitchen scraps as the winter progresses. I have a few bags of leaves set aside for that purpose as well. I am going cut back the last of the mums that are now done blooming today and add them to the pile as that first rough layer!

We are supposed to get snow tomorrow. I can watch it fall and the birds feed with a clear mind. That is the wonderful thing about living in a temperate zone. You get a rest from active gardening, and time to reflect on the previous growing season and plan for the next. Begonia

 

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My Little Potato Patch 3: Dud Spuds
Friday, October 22, 2010 | By begonia

My potatoes grew luxuriantly all summer. I added compost and hay at intervals and made sure they were watered. I was expecting a bumper crop of nice big spuds! (See my May 3 and May 29 blogs.)

 I ended up with duds! I actually had a NEGATIVE yield! I planted more potatoes in the spring than I harvested in the fall. I showed my pitiful colander of taters to my neighbors, who looked at it thoughtfully and remarked that it reminded them of their 401K—“What happened to the other 75 percent?”

My chicken manure-based compost is potent stuff. Perhaps it was too much of a good thing. The green vines looked great and were at least four feet long in most cases. I wish that energy would have gone into producing potatoes!

I used half of my crop in the beef stew I served for supper tonight. The other half will become potato kale soup. There is nothing like a big pot of soup at the end of a blustery fall day. (I’ll just try not to think about just how much effort went into the two meals!) Begonia

   

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daffodils & phlox
Sunday, October 17, 2010 | By Jan Lee

I think everyone likes daffodils. It is one of my favorite flowers too. I had ordered three sets of the pretty yellow jonquils & also some phlox that I had never had in my garden. So when they came I realized I had some work ahead of me. I got out my trusty spade & dug some beds for the bulbs. I don't have a big space so this was a bit of a dilemma. I had ordered more bulbs than I had space for. You know, when you get those catalogs you see all the beautiful flowers & you become obsesses. I ordered giant daffodils, mediums daffodils & petite daffodils all looked so lovely in the  VAN BOURGONDIEN  catalog so I went overboard. I had to have those lovelies. I also had 3 roots of phlox to find room for. I have two gardens on my small piece of property. One is a perennial garden & in one I plant my annuals. Actually I have three garden cause another small area that has both annuals & perennials. I got out my bone meal & got those bulb planted. I found room for the phlox & when I was finished I was tired & my back & joints were aching but all was right with the world. Now I can't wait till spring when the daffodils bloom.  

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gifts from a gardener!
Wednesday, October 06, 2010 | By MzScarlett

My friend Liz is an avid gardener; she and her husband have had huge gardens and still have them going. I found 2 of the Harry Potter books she has been wanting for her grandkids so took them by today for her. She gave me lots of regular and lemon basil. Told me to strip the leaves and dehydrate it, then crumble the leaves and put in a jar.

She showed me her dehydrated tomatoes, squash which was OUTSTANDING in flavor; FAR superior to any potato chip! green onions as well as a white onion. She then simply keeps them in jars and they look very interesting on her counter!

She also gave me an inside needle ivy, which I passed on to my neighbor, and an aster! I am heading out to get my dehydrator and using it on the basil. I have never even heard of lemon basil before! How exciting to get and try new things! I would NEVER have thought of dehydrating a squash: nor that it would literally taste superior to potato chips!

www.motherearthnews.com has lots of do it yourself items to make for far less money than you would think! Am going to check there for possible do it yourself screens to make where can just dry in the sun next summer! My sister told me she had been given some raisins made out of grapes from a friend who had simply dried them on screen in the sun and it was far superior than any she had ever tasted from a store!

I am telling you folks: you cannot go wrong with having gardeners in your life as friends!

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plant now! enjoy 2nd harvest
Friday, September 24, 2010 | By MzScarlett

Just planted some lettuce and onions today! looking forward to enjoying salads FRESH from the garden (living in a mobile home park,  I plant in fruit bins I got for $1; and painted green; used organic soil from aunts compost pile of 20 years! EVERYTHING loves to florish in them!

Cut my bamboo into 2 parts, and now have 2 bamboo's in matching pots! love the willowy effect of it!

Went to the $ store today with neighbor; then to the Good Will As is store; got 4 beautiful Starbucks coffee cups for 25 cents each; a THISTLE SOCK for my finches! looks NEW! and 2 tops costing 80 cents for both tops!

Stopping at yard sales on way home, picked up a beautifully painted drop bottle that I washed thoughtly and am going to use for olive oil; and an antique small lamp with elephants on it with an old time lamp shade both for $1.00!!! Picked up a good book for 5 cents; AND the BEST of the best: I got 25 stepping stones for garden paths for $5.00!!!! and they are HUGE nice super thick ones! YES! my garden loves LOVELY and I can now enjoy it even when the rains come!

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Picking Strawberries
Saturday, September 18, 2010 | By begonia

The Ozark Beauties are bearing an autumn crop. The berries are fragrant and have a wonderful sweet, true strawberry taste. It is odd to be eating a fruit just a few days before the frost date that smells and tastes like June. It feels like the year is running backward!

My experiment with everbearing strawberries won’t be complete until next May or June. I’ll cover these plants later in the fall and uncover and fertilize them early next spring. There are three varieties in three beds on this slope of my front yard. I planted them mainly to hold the slope. Of course, the variety that I planted on the steepest part of the grade is the one that spread the least! I will have to transplant plants from the more luxuriant beds into the thin spots—that is, whatever variety makes it through the winter!

That is the wonderful part of gardening. There are plenty of opportunities to try new varieties and enjoy new experiences like eating homegrown strawberries in September. Begonia

  

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share your plants!
Thursday, September 16, 2010 | By MzScarlett

Now is the time of year we can easily divide plants; same as in the spring! either way, by joining a garden site such as yahoo groups local gardening group where you can post things you have to offer and ask for the things you would love to have some of!

   Gardeners are the NICEST folks! now, I never COULD grow "inside" plants very well; however, the OUTSIDE is a whole different story!  Just in from watering, I noticed I have another beautiful apricot colored David Austin English rose coming on; it is SO breathtakingly beautiful: EVERYONE on the PLANET should have one!  Roses do NOT have to be high maitenance at all; just the hybred teas are: the floribunda's and the English roses which are HUGE cabbage shaped ones: are incredibly EASY to maintain: and the REWARDS are fantastic!

   NOTHING tastes as GOOD as something from your own garden; unless it's gotten locally from out of someone ELSES garden! Snipping herbs to put into your own cooking is beyond flavor; you WONDER how the FLAVOR ever gets OUT of so much stuff in grocery stores!

   Well, off to divide oriental poppies, lavenders, and other things: then will travel to meet with folks who will love them as well! This REALLY helps EVERYONE so incredibly MUCH: you SAVE on $; you get things YOU want for your own garden for FREE; and joy is had by all!

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