Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Frugal Gardening: Fertilizer

 photo credit: WVPA G&T

Earlier this week I transplanted our little tomato seedlings to their newspaper pots.  They are hanging on, barely.  We had to move them back into the house Monday night since the weather was going to be too cool for them.  Unfortunately, our living room is pretty small and the kids were playing around them and broke one of the seedlings.  Poor little guy  :(  One down and 47 to go.  Our hope is to have at least 24 tomato plants survive to the planting process.  We'll have to wait and see...

A few weeks ago, someone suggested I check into Square Foot Gardening since I am going to be using a raised bed this year.  I'm so glad they did!  I borrowed the book from the library and it is so informational.  I think I'm going to buy it from using my swagbucks!  

I sat down Monday night and drew out my garden plan and realized I have more climbing things than bush things.  Instead of building another raised bed using cedar boards ($80), I requested some old plastic baby pools from our local freecycle group.  I had one response but it was a waste of time.  The lady didn't put out the pools and I had driven 40 minutes to pick them up.  Needless to say I was pretty upset.  But then I remembered I could drive back home via another route and pick up my book from the library and check out a thrift store.  Lo and behold they had a baby pool for $3.50 at the thrift store!  So I bought it.  We have a little baby pool leftover from last year and so now I have two "Reduced, Reused, Recycled" Baby-Pools-turned-Raised-Garden-Beds (thanks to Christy at Southern Plate for this ingenious idea!)

(From the looks of my raised beds, you can tell I still have a lot of work to do...)

According to the book, Mel suggests you mix up a blend of compost material, vermiculite and peat moss.  And he swears you have no need for fertilizer -- other than the compost, which he suggests adding when you replant.  I thought it was a great idea!  I talked it over with my husband and he agreed (but when doesn't he?).

My Momma always used Super Triple Phosphate.  A granular fertilizer that works miracles for iris and roses.  But it's really hard to find now-a-days.  Last year we used Black Kow compost around the corn and they grew beautifully.  We're using Black Kow and Mushroom compost this year.  I really wanted to get some worm castings but they are really hard to find.  There was a man who listed an ad in the State Farmers & Consumers Market Bulletin, but he won't return my calls.  Oh well...

This has been linked to: The Little Green Project and $5 Dollar DInner Square Foot Gardening Progress

What kind of fertilizer do you use, if any? 

Link up and share your gardening advice with newbie gardeners like myself (and others who might be popping by).  Even if you've written a post last week or last year, link and share what you know.  Grab the button in the sidebar (completely optional) and link back here from your blog post.  If you don't have a blog, no worries!  I still want to hear from you, please leave a comment and share what you know.  I love comments and questions!  


Phoebe @ Cents to Get Debt Free said...

We really do not use a fertilizer per se. When we put our garden to sleep in the fall, we add in manure, and keep the straw in the beds to decompose (I use straw as "mulch"). As the year goes on I add in my compost, too. If you keep amending your soil, there really is no need for a commercial fertilizer. :)

Candi said...

Great idea Phoebe!

Susie said...

I am new to composting so, I have to ammend my soil with additional nitrogen.

The Prudent Homemaker said...

I've linked in twice now but it isn't accepting my link. I have something up about Growing Flowers for Less:

Also, my local nursery carries Triple Super Phosphate and worm castings. Worm casting are pricey, so another important thing is to get worms in your garden. Your local nursery might sell worms, but you can also get them from anyplace that sells worms for fishing (including Walmart).

Diana Bauman said...


I'm so sorry!! That kind of week that I totally forgot my post for you! Let me know if you would still like something. Have a great day!


Jami@ An Oregon Cottage said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, Candi. I've linked up a post about starting seeds that has links to other articles with more information. Good luck, and thanks again!

$5 Dinner Mom said...

I'm planning on adding a bit of manure before I plant seeds/transplant.



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