Keep Gardening Costs to a Minimum

Just this morning I was thinking about how vegetable gardening is probably going to see a big boom now that food prices are soaring. So I was pleased this evening to stumble across “Recession Proof Gardening” at This Garden Is Illegal. I especially like the tip about buying easy-to-clone annuals such as petunias and coleus:

  1. Get a big, leggy plant.
  2. Make several cuttings and root them.
  3. Plant out the rooted cuttings.

And that’s only one of several great suggestions for keeping your gardening costs low.

BTW, even if you start your petunias and coleus from seed yourself, that tip about making cuttings can be put to good use. And don’t limit yourself to ornamentals. Tomato plants can also be multiplied in this way. Pinch out the suckers and root them – one plant has now become two or more. Sure, it will take a little longer for those new plants to get to fruiting size, but you’ll have the fruits of the original plant in the meantime.

Addendum: Not all annuals can be propagated from cuttings. As I mentioned in my reply to Barb, this works only with soft-stemmed plants. And I forgot to mention that there are some perennials that you can propagate in this way, too. I’ve had very good luck with various kinds of sedum, for example.


7 responses to “Keep Gardening Costs to a Minimum

  1. Oh fabulous info, thanks! I agree this will be the new boom, but I disagree in that I think we’ve been in a recession for a very long time, and only overspending on credit has hidden the truth….didn’t think you’d get controversy here now did ya? Neither did I – LOL….just blurted right out there.

  2. My mom did that! We always had something rooting in the kitchen window sill. And I have often wondered — without trying it — if annuals would root in water. You’re saying yes then… Interesting.

    I like your blog title — it’s very homey and welcoming.


  3. Barb, some annuals can be rooted, but not all. Try soft-stemmed annuals that tend to branch, like the ones mentioned. If the plant you’re interested in can root from its stem, then cuttings should work.

  4. If I keep an eye on your blog LJ, will my few scraggly plants look better?

    Peggy the gardening challenged…

  5. I’ve done that with coleus for years but I had no idea you could do it with tomatoes! I’m hoping for enough to can this year and I’m not sure I bought enough plants yet šŸ˜‰

    I’m having a real garden this year (as opposed to last years few scragglies planted in clay) and I hope I get enough to put away to last the year.

  6. Herbs can be another thing to think about “cloning”. I have some stuff called “cuban oregano” that I put out in the garden each year. Come fall, some time before the first frost, I prune off a couple of stems and stick them in a bottle in the window where they root and are ready to be put back in the garden in spring. Generally I get plenty of cuttings to share the wealth as well. From experience, I know this can also work for some sorts of mint.

  7. Although I was an infant at the time, I know that during WWII everyone who had the tiniest plot of land grew their own vegetables in order to contribute to the war effort. I’m sure that during the Great Depression people did this also. I think it’s a good thing for us in the U.S. to backtrack in history and learn to grow our own food again. Too bad it took incredibly high gasoline prices to push us in this direction, but I think ultimately this will be a wonderful boost for our National self-image, not to mention learning more self-reliance.

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