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Keep Plants Green While Saving Some Green

Summertime brings a lot of fun activities: barbecuing, pool parties, camping, and block parties to just name a few. It's also the time of year you get to show off your green thumb. For those of us who don't live in a warm climate year 'round, summer is one of the few times we can put our green thumb to use. However, depending on the size of your garden, it can become costly in a hurry. Things like extra water usage and plant food add up fast, but there are plenty of DIY options to help you save some of your hard-earned cash.


Water Use

According to the EPA, "the average U.S. household uses more water outdoors than most American homes use for showering and washing clothes combined." This extra water during the summer months (and year 'round depending on where you live) means more money out of your pocket.

There are some ways to cut down on your water use and still keep your garden looking lavish. Did you know:


? You can recycle your laundry water to water your garden? Known as greywater, this water is perfectly fine to use in your garden. You can even use it on vegetables as long as it doesn't touch the food. Setting this up can be as easy as buying the right hose. You can read more about that here.

? Rainwater is a great way to conserve water? By collecting rainwater, you can save some serious cash. Plus it's a win-win situation because the rain waters your garden during the storm AND after. You can find some good tips about how to do this here.

? WaterSense programs can help those of you with irrigation systems? Approved by the EPA, "WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers tailor watering schedules to local weather conditions. The average family can save nearly 9,000 gallons of water annually by replacing a standard clock timer controller with a WaterSense labeled model."


DIY Plant Food

Plants need more than just water to grow to their full potential. However plant food can be another gardening expense that adds up quickly. DIY options are not only cost effective, but they also allow you to use products you probably already have on hand. Here are some great options to try:

? Epsom Salt: Have you ever read about the many uses of Epsom salt? It states right on the bag you can use it for gardening. Creative Homemaking has a great recipe to get you started.

? Used food: Things like banana peels, coffee grounds and eggshells give your garden the extra nutrients it needs. You can find an entire list of foods to use over at

? Used milk and juice containers: Just adding water to your used milk and juice containers creates instant liquid plant food. Who knew?

Shannon Evans

Shannon Evans is the Supervisor of Social Marketing for The Lakeside CollectionŽ and loves to help people maximize their budget for a better lifestyle. She also shares fun and helpful tips on our blog and YouTube channel.