Monday, October 29, 2012

A New Look

Thought I would change things up a bit and try a new layout! I was trying to make it easier to navigate and look at older post with out having to search month by month. Let me know how you like the new look and if it is easier or needs to be trashed and start over.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New Facebook Page
Just created a new Facebook page for the Tightwad Garden blog to attract more visitors and get the word out. Please check it out and share with your friends and family.

Darwin Hybrid Red Tulip

Got another good deal yesterday, 50 Darwin Hybrid Red Tulips for $5! That is only 10 cents a bulb! The wife suggested we go to Menards because they had batteries on sale, so of course I couldn't pass up a chance to go and look for some good deals!

Since it was sunny and 75 degrees outside today, I got my Awesome Auger out and planted all 50 bulbs around the front Flower beds. Next spring I should have a nice combination of bright red tulips and pink and purple hyacinth bulbs blooming all over the front of the yard!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Red Canna Bulbs

Since it was a nice, sunny day and I had the day off I thought it would be the perfect day to dig up all my canna bulbs and get them ready for next spring. Since the Red Canna plant is a tropical plant you have to dig the bulbs up every fall and keep them in a nice dry and warm spot until it is warm enough next spring to plant them. Sounds like a pain to have to do all that work every year but the reward is these things multiply like crazy if planted in good enough soil. I started out with 6 bulbs that I got for free from my parents, they were growing them out behind their garage and looked really good. I planted mine the first year a little late so they didn't get as tall or bloom as good as they should have, but when I dug them up in the fall, instead of the six bulbs that I had planted I now had 30!

This Spring I planted all 30 bulbs, some were as small as a golf ball while others were the size of a baked potato. To my surprise all 30 came up this year and most of them looked really good. They averaged about 5-6ft tall and had these great looking redish pink blooms on the top. So today when I started digging up the plants, each one was loaded with more bulbs. I would guess that I now have between 200 and 300 bulbs in various sizes. A couple months ago I posted how Lowe's was selling the bulb's for $5 a piece and a single plant in a gallon pot for $15 each. Well I put my ad on craigslist advertising the bulbs for $2 a piece!! If anyone is interested in buying some, leave me a comment and I will send some your way!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

From Raised Beds to Permaculture!

This is what my garden has looked like for the last 5 years, 5 raised bed gardens that were 2ftx 8ft. Easy to till up, plant, weed and water. The last three years Indiana has been hit with droughts every summer, right in the middle of the growing season. Water was always a problem, even with my 55 gallon rain barrel. This summer we went 79 days without a drop of rain, I would use up my rain barrel in about a week. Then I would water the garden enough to keep it going with the hopes that it would rain soon. This summer was the worst crop I have had, so while I waited for rain I did a lot of reading on ways to garden that didn't require a lot of watering. That is when I saw the Back to Eden film and started to read about Permaculture. From what I saw and everything that I read, this was the way to go. So I decided at the end of the season I was going to make the change!
There were a few things I was going to need, the first was mulch or wood chips. Thanks to craigslist I found 3 yards of mulch for free thanks to a mexican landscaper named Juan. He had it left over from a job and needed it gone as soon as possible. Around here mulch goes for about $15 to $20 a yard, son when I found it for free I jumped at it. The second piece of the Permaculture puzzle was composted garden manure(horse poop). I was able to find a horse stable close by that was more than willing to give me a truck load of aged manure.

After I removed all the 4x4's from my raised beds, I covered the area that I would be using with old newspapers to kill off any grass and weeds and act as a natural barrier from future weeds coming through.

I then took my truck load of composted manure(horse poop) and put it right on top of the newspapers until it was about 3 inches deep all over the area I would need for my garden. Surprisingly there was little to no smell since it had been aged for about 3 to 4 months.

After the composted manure(horse poop) was spread, I covered that with about 3 inches of mulch and wood chips courtesy of Juan the landscaper. Now all I have to do is let this sit over the winter and let it decompose some more into a nice rich planting soil. I won't have to till to plant in it, I won't have to water it as nearly as much as the raised bed gardens I had before, weeding will be much easier since it is a looser surface on top and maintaining it will much easier throughout the season. It won't need any kind of fertilizer since the garden manure is below the mulch and wood chips acting as a natural fertilizer. Then once a season I will just need to add a new layer of mulch on top as it continues to decompose and feed the soil below. I will keep posting how it is working throughout the growing season next spring and summer to let everyone know how this way of gardening is working for me.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Another Tightwad Deal of the Day!!

Picked up 3 of these  Rododendrom Rosem Elegans today at Lowe's for about $4 each!
I also grabbed 3 of these Candy Drop Red plants for $1.88 each! Added these to the sunny side of my house because I wasn't completely happy with the way some of the other plants were growing. I transplanted my holly, a lilac and a 2 rose of sharon bushes to my backyard to make room for these 6 new plants. Hopefully everything makes it through the winter, then it should look really nice on that side of the house and the bushes I moved to the back should really thrive.