Cheap & Easy Straw-bale Planters


While speaking at the Disney Epcot Flower & Garden Festival on my book, The Small Budget Gardener, I discovered these straw-bale gardens in the park. My book tells you how to create the planters made from a bale of straw costing just $3 to $6. These are really great examples of this super cheap idea. They’ve planted it with greens, another with herbs and the third mixed showing its versatility. When the bale finally breaks down, you can take it apart and use for mulch. No waste, no unnecessary expenses.

Turn A Desert Dry Wash into A Vegetable Garden


This year I’ve moved to a new desert home! Biggest problem is soil that’s largely sand and lacks organic matter and is not bio-active so I need a POWERFUL amendment. So I’m testing out Black Gold Soil Conditioner to see if it will turn a dry wash into a productive vegetable garden.
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Garden Artichoke: Affordable Flower and Food


Small budget gardeners love artichokes because they are intensely beautiful, long lived and edible. These 2-for-1 plants offer so many benefits your investment in buying them today is quickly covered by what they contribute in the garden and kitchen. Since they are perennial, the plant returns year after year to produce a larger foliage mass and more numerous stems. We have all seen the globe shaped heads in the supermarket, but few have seen where theses come from. These great perennials hardy to Zone 7 produce beautiful gray-green lobed leaves that are fabulous foliage in their own right, fitting nicely into beds and borders like an ornamental. They’re a graphic favorite of art nouveau design and look particularly wonderful as accents in Mediterranean style pots! When the plant bloom they send up a thick stem topped with a flower bud, which is the edible artichoke. If not picked in bud stage for eating, this bud matures into an enormous purple tufted thistle-like flower. If you’ve never grown one, try it this year in ground or in pots to enjoy a plant that offers so much beauty, of foliage and flower, while feeding your family this gourmet veggie the kids will love.