Gardening > Gardening

Free or Almost Free Plants

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Marilynn Britton:
If you live near a botanical garden, they are usually looking for volenteers to help out with the planting and care of the plants. You can meet a lot of other plant loving people and get clippings and exchange plants.

When I buy green onions for the tops, the roots are still attached. I cut them off about 1/2 inch above the roots and place them in a shallow dish of water for a couple of days, just enough to cover the roots. Then I plant them in the garden and have a supply of green onions all year long. The ones I planted last spring are too large and going to seed but I can dig them and use the bulb (larger onion) at the base also.

Something was eating my potato leaves.  I did not figure out what.  I got 3 small 1-2 inch size potaotes yesterday May 24, 2003 from the eyes I planted about 4 months ago.  It did not cost me anything because I already had the flower pots filled with soil (from previous plantings) and the potatoes were useable. (Except for the eyes with the roots that I planted.)    

To deter animals moth balls might work but they are a bit toxic.  Blood works for rabbits.  Ask a local nursery for advice on detering animals.  My grandmother had a small garden at her trailer and had a problem with pests eating all of her vegetables.  A fench with wood (or stone) dug about 6 inches down all the way around might help.  Marigolds or garlic might also deter pests.

In my quest to "grow" dirt in Fl. I have actively composted for quite some time. I sometimes become impatient with my compost and use it sooner than I should. What results are "mystery plants" which sometimes just sprout randomly. I have discovered the seeds of hybrid melons sometimes produce baseball sized melons which have a faint taste of banana in addition to the musk melon. I have begun to save seed and am actually propagating from those seeds now.
I have had several crops of pineapples grown from discarded pineapple tops. The fruit is much sweeter than that from the original pineapple and is free. I've actually been so bold as to ask people in the grocery line if they planned on using their crown as either decoration or to plant themselves. When they indicate they have no use for it I ask if they mind if I pop it off to plant. Many are willing and actually grateful to not have to deal with it. The plants can actually be grown in a green house or a safe corner of your house and will produce fruit in a couple years. If you have friends with strawberry patches ask if you can stick small pots of dirt under a few runners.  Last year I bought pots of "dead" strawberries at Home Depot for a quarter a pot. I watered them and now have tons of strawberries.  Always ask if there is either a mark down rack or a discard rack/ bin you can go through.  As others have indicated, swap with neighbors when possible. If you are starting plants sow a few extra in starter pots and give them to someone nearby. They will often do the same.


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