ThriftyFun News - March 25, 2005 - Spring Gardening Tips

ThriftyFun News
Spring Gardening Tips

Volume Seven, Number 13 March 25, 2005


This week's issue contains Spring Gardening tips. If you have more tips to share, feel free to submit them on the contest form and we will publish them in the Daily. Also, if you have any gardening requests, be sure to submit them as a Reader's Request. We have a lot of experienced gardeners on this site. You can submit a request here:


Also, if you have a plant, flower, garden decoration, irrigation system or anything in your garden that you are proud of, take a picture of it, write a description and submit it to the photo contest. It would be fun to see what people's gardens look like.

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Thanks for reading,


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This newsletter contains:

  • After Tilling - Letting the Weeds Come Up
  • Starting Seeds
  • Keeping Bugs off Plants
  • Growing Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Collect Rainwater In the Spring

  • Pruning Rosebushes
  • Flowers for the Entry
  • Preventing Cutworms
  • Growing Your Own Sprouts
  • Tree Pruning Tips
  • How to Grow Annuals
  • Garden Stepping Stones
  • Thrifty Gardening Tips
  • Make a Gardener's Tote
  • What would you plant in your Victory Garden?

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Tip Contest

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New Contest! $30.00 Gift Card
In our newest contest we are giving away a $30.00 Gift Card at one of the following stores: Home Depot, Jo-Ann's Crafts or If you are the winner, you get to choose which gift card! We figured it would be more valuable if you pick out your own prize, that's why we have decided to go the gift card route. This contest will end on March 31st.

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Gardening Tips

After Tilling - Letting the Weeds Come Up

If you have just tilled or cleared some land for planting, let it sit for two weeks so you can pull out the weed seedlings that have come up before planting. That will help you distinguish your new seedlings from the weeds.


Susan from ThriftyFun

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Starting Seeds

Start seeds in cardboard egg cartons filled with a little soil. When your seedlings get big enough to transplant, cut the sections apart, slit the cardboard just a bit (it will be soft) and plant the egg carton and seedling together.

By Linda

Start all of your seeds in egg shells. No need to transplant them since you can put the shell right in the ground and they will act as a fertilizer.

By sewingmamma

If you have anymore tips for starting seeds, please post them.

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Keeping Bugs off Plants

To help keep the worms and leaf eating bugs off your garden plants use jalapeno peppers, boil and strain, put the pepper "broth" in about a gallon of warm water and spray plants, this is a very safe bug repellant. Use about 6-8 peppers to a quart of water.


By ZIPP2101

If you have any more tips for keeping bugs off plants, feel free to post them.

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Growing Heirloom Tomatoes

Try to find heirloom tomatoes in your garden center.

By ptreskovich

Editor's Note: Heirloom seeds are not hybrids so you can grow the same type from the seeds they produce. There are several good mail order and internet order sources for heirlooms. Just search on Google for Heirloom Seeds and to find seeds for your area of the world.

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Collect Rainwater In the Spring

If you're a gardener, take advantage of the spring showers to stock up on free water. We collect rainwater in large trash barrels behind our garage from the drainage off of the roof. We fill them using a hose which is connected to the drainpipe. We cover each barrel with it's lid and have plenty of water for the flower and vegetable gardens. Then, every time it rains we collect the water until all the barrels are full. Last year when we had a drought, we supplied the neighbors with vegetables since we were the only ones able to maintain our garden!



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Pruning Rosebushes

With spring right around the corner, here is a tip for pruning rosebushes. Get a medium cardboard box, then use a spring loaded clothespin to grab each branch just above where you make your cut. Leave the thorny branch in the clothespin jaws and transfer it into the box. This sure saves your hands from being jabbed by all those thorns!

By Sandy from Pittsburgh

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Flowers for the Entry

Use planters filled with flowers to brighten up the entry to your home.

By ptreskovich

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Preventing Cutworms

If you start your plants from seed as I do, or even buy them from the local nursery, when you plant them in the ground insert a toothpick or wooden match as close to the stem as possible and into the ground. This helps prevent cutworms from cutting off the tender plants at ground level.


By Roberta

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Growing Your Own Sprouts

Grow your own sprouts from seeds and beans, by sprouting them.
Soak overnight and then place them in a jar in a dark warm place, with a piece of cloth (cheese cloth works well) on the top of the jar instead of the lid. Rinse morning and night and sprouts will be ready in 3-5 days, to green place sprouts in sunlight. Enjoy on sandwiches and as a salad.

By h_fenwick

Editor's Note: Buy sprouting seeds from a natural foods store or seed supplier that are untreated seeds for sprouting. You can also use your own seeds leftover from last year that you have collected if they were grown without chemicals. Don't use the growing seeds right out of the packets because many have been treated with fungicides which wouldn't be good to eat.

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More Gardening Tips

Tree Pruning Tips
By Michael J. McGroarty

There are two kinds of winter gardening. The first method usually starts in January as the gardening catalogs begin to arrive in the mail. This type of gardening is as easy and sitting in your favorite chair, browsing the catalogs, and either dreaming about what you're going to do this spring, or actually drawing designs for the gardens you intend to work on.

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How to Grow Annuals

"Annual plants complete their lifecycle in a single season. You usually plant seed in spring or early summer (or purchase plants started in a greenhouse). The plants grow and flower through summer and die in the fall. Unlike perennials, this year's plants will not regrow from overwintered roots next spring, though sometimes seeds produced by annuals will sprout and grow the following year ("self-seeding")."

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Garden Stepping Stones

I can buy stepping stones from my local garden store but not only are they expensive, but they are either boring or don't have the designs that I want.

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Thrifty Gardening Tips
By Ness - Lakeview, NY


I have been a gardener since I was a little girl, taught by my dad, and it's always fun to learn new thrifty and creative ways to enhance my gardening skills. Over the years, I have picked up many great ideas from several friends and relatives, and also just by experimenting. I hope you find these tips interesting.

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Make a Gardener's Tote
By Leslie Sausage

Ready for Spring gardening?

You'll be more likely to tackle the daily garden activities if you're ready to go with all your tools.

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What would you plant in your Victory Garden?

On the Happy Garden list one of the members mentioned that she now considered her patio garden a Victory Garden.

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March 25, 2005
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