Everyone needs to have a stress reducer in their lives and for me it is gardening. Why exactly, I am not sure, maybe its memories of times with my grandparents. Maybe it’s the tranquility & simplicity of taking care of something with simple things like sun, water & fertilizer. I am not sure why, but nothing reduces my stress so quickly. There is just something about those hard days of juggling everything from kids to ringing phones, the sound of the Cars movie playing in the background while I sit down at the computer and try to write another blog about carpet cleaning or water damage. Not to mention that I have no plans for dinner and it’s already 6PM. It’s on these days of chaos that my favorite time is after dinner. It’s when the family can play outside and I can dig in the dirt! The best plants are those that look great despite the weather and need very little TLC and these are the only type of plants that I grow. I call it guaranteed gardening!
Most of the plants that have become my favorites are the ones that I discovered on the clearance table. Yes, you heard me right, the clearance table. So far the best source for clearance plants that I have found is Lowes. Also, True Value normally puts their parking lot plants on clearance around the 4th of July. At Lowes, they put their “seasonal plants” on clearance at the end of each season and especially during long periods of 100+ degree temps. I know it is so tempting to buy the plants that are in full bloom, gorgeous and at the full price. Do yourself a favor and walk to the very back of the garden center and find those hidden perennial jewels. If they look a little brown or scraggly don’t worry, just make sure the base of the plant looks green. When you get it home just cut off the brown dead parts, plant it in the desired lighting and plant with newspaper around the sides of the plant to hold in moisture. Within no time your ugly clearance plant will look beautiful, and being a perennial you get to enjoy it year after year. Some of my best plants and new found favorites began as clearance plants. I never spend more than $2 for a perennial or $5 for a large bush and over 90% of my plants have been only a $1. Bulbs, roots, seeds, sharing & transplanting are also other great ways to do a garden on a budget. In another post I will talk about my new found favorites this year that are now on my must have list.
As we approach fall, it is great time to transplant items within your own yard and even do plant sharing with friends. Some bulb and root plants can be planted and not to mention seeds. Just make sure and research each plant on Google to make sure it will survive the winter if planted in the fall. Also, a general rule of thumb is to make sure to plant or transplant a minimum of 3 weeks prior to your area’s first frost. Here in the Kansas City metro area, our first frost is normally the 1st week of November so I don’t plant anything past the 1st week of October just to be safe, which also gives me the beautiful month of October for my annual apple butter fiasco and that is for another post, another time.