Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Soil Amendments for the Frugal Mama

For the gardening mama's (and daddy's) out there, you know that there is a never ending list of supplies, tools, seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides that you could use in your home garden.

not my garden, but isn't it cute!

And the costs can really add up!

I hope to share with you some of the tips I have learned to have a flourishing garden with LITTLE to NO cost for some of these items.

For those who are trying to build up their soil, or add more content to their composting, you know that there are many 'Soil Amendments' that you can purchase.  You can buy bags of manure, you can buy bales of hay or straw, you can buy wood chips and leaves.

But you can also get these items for FREE sometimes!

I have found that through nickel ads, local facebook groups (search by your county and/or town's name), freecycle and craigslist, you can connect with locals who have what YOU want and need and are more than happy to give it to you.


MANURE
MANY owners of horses, cattle, sheep, goats and chickens will GLADLY accept someone's offer to shovel out their pens for a free load of manure.  Even as a mother, with my littles tagging alone, sometimes even pregnant, I have been able to go to a local animal owner and shovel out a couple carts full of manure.  I have even been able to use some of my sterilite (or rubbermaid) totes to carry this manure in the back of my vehicle when I did not have a truck available.
ALSO if you have a local livestock auction house, they often have copious amounts of manure that they will very GLADLY load into your truck and have you cart it away.  Call them and ask.  Worst they can say is 'Nope.'

HAY and STRAW BALES
While hay and straw bales usually cost a pretty penny, you can put the word out that you are looking for OLD, MOLDY, WET and ROTTEN bales.  Sounds gross?  But that is what you want!!!  Decomposing organic matter.  You don't need the feed quality hay!  And you certainly don't want to pay those rising prices for something you are going to hose down and compost in your yard or in your bins anyway.  Sometimes you can get find people who will give them to you for free, sometimes for a small fee.  Afterall, someone did go to all the trouble of collecting and baling it up

WOOD CHIPS
Look in your local phone book or local.google.com for tree services.  Many of them cut down more trees and branches than they know what to do with and sometimes have to PAY to dump the chips somewhere.  Let them know that you would WELCOME them dumping a load or two or all that they have on your property!  I called a few in my area and while only one actually returned my call he HAPPILY brings a truckload of chips whenever he works in my area!


For more tips for the Frugal Mama......

La Soñador ~: Cloth Diapering for the Frugal Mama
Cloth Diapering for the Frugal Mama. Since moving out to my country home, hanging the laundry on the line, trying to grow and raise my own food, I also made another big change in my day to day routine. I switched to cloth ...

La Soñador ~: Renewing the Wardrobe for the Frugal Mama
Renewing the Wardrobe for the Frugal Mama. I recently had to replace much of my wardrobe. While we constantly make sure the children have clothing that fits, looks nice and meets their needs, my husband and I 'make do' ...


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