Money Saving Monday: Green Thumb, Green Wallet

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.  (WHNT) - With our weekly Money Saving Monday reports, WHNT NEWS 19 tries to plant some money-saving-seeds in your head so you'll have more than just a green thumb in your pocket!

We've done some homework for you to save money making the land work for you.
We found all kinds of great tips on gardening through social media sites, Facebook and Pinterest, and then got a little extra advice from a local pro.

It's a labor of love for many people who enjoy spending time outside, playing in the dirt or mud, then reaping the fruits of the labor: beautiful flowers and healthy veggies.

"We want to be successful when we garden," said Huntsville Botanical Gardens Master Gardener Harvey Cotten.  He said gardening can be fun and you don't have to spend a fortune.

First, it may be tempting to bring home a plant from a nursery that's already growing, but you can get more bang for your buck buying a packet of seeds.

From be creative in what you use to hold the plants.  Egg shells, for example, give seeds extra nourishment.  Or use plastic containers from grocery items you buy on a regular basis, such as yogurt, fastfood drink containers, or milk jugs.

Another way to save is to start your own compost pile with veggie peelings from cooking.

"It's a fabulous soil amendment, so you're not going to have to buy soil amendments, it's a wonderful organic fertilizer to enrich your plants," said Cotten.  "It can be used as a mulch."

Gardeners must beware of the enemy: slugs and snails who love to munch.

There's no need for slugbait.  Experts recommend you put some beer in a plastic container and plant it into the ground.  The pests will go for the beer, then get caught in your cup.

A trick from --- when planting seeds, consider gardening in a bag.  That's a bag of topsoil.
It`s inexpensive.  You can get a 40-pound bag of topsoil for less than a dollar and a half and create a nice-sized garden for less than $40.  You slit open the plastic bag, make holes in the bottom for drainage, then add your seeds.

"Even after the season's over, you take out the plastic and that helps to enrich the soil spot that you were there," said Cotten.

You won't have to worry about weeds, but you will need to add compost to the topsoil to help retain moisture and add nutrients.

As for acquiring seeds, trade them using
There, you'll be able to trade seeds with other growers and enhance your garden, while helping other gardeners.

Happy Gardening!

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