The Benefits of Gardening as a Family

There are few activities as rewarding as cultivating a garden — by sowing a few seeds in the spring you can be harvesting armfuls of fruits and vegetables in the summer. There are a number of benefits to taking on this activity as a family, including saving money on groceries and having fresh and healthy produce to eat. But perhaps the greatest benefit is giving your child invaluable insight into the natural world around them.

Gardening Tips [Read more…]

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What Does Your Lawn Say About You?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Your lawn is one of the first things that people notice about your home – and part of the first impression when people come to visit. Ever wonder what kind of message your lawn is sending about the people who live there?  See which one of these categories you fall into, and discover if you’re sending out accurate signals about your family…

  1. Perfectionist. This is the home with the greenest grass, and it’s always perfectly trimmed. It’s probably lined with very square-shaped hedges, and few flowers – since flowers are harder to force into growing in a symmetrical way. There might be a couple of those stone lions guarding the entryway too. This might look impressive to some – but to most of us, it screams, “I’m a control freak!” Lol. Loosen up just a bit, and let things grow a little more naturally, and people will have a much easier time relaxing at your outdoor BBQ’s.
  2. Wild & Free. You tell everyone that you’re just really eco-friendly, and are keeping your lawn in it’s “natural state.” But your neighbors don’t consider it organic – they see it as a jungle! They get the impression that you’d rather spend the weekend on your Xbox than mowing the lawn. Letting your plants grow freely can contribute to a really pretty garden – in moderation. Make sure you keep the grass trimmed, and the branches from falling over onto neighboring yards.
  3. Whimsical. You fill your lawn with ornaments, trinkets, and bobbles. You’ve got an army of gnomes, a flock of flamingos, and enough decor for three flea markets. You call it fun – you’re neighbors call it crazy :) Yes, adding a few silly garden accents can contribute to a really laid-back environment – but please, take down that wooden cut-out of a lady bent over, ok? {I admit it, I used to have one too….. }

Now that you know what type of lawn you have, and what it’s saying about you – here is a great solution you can use to upgrade!

Smart Summer Lawn Care Solution – Scott’s Snap Spreader System!

How cool is this, right? I’m a busy mom, so everything in my life needs to be as simplified as possible – and I LOVE clever problem-solving products like this. I need yard and garden tools that are lightweight, easy to maneuver, and simple to use and store. This system totally hits all of these requirements – awesome, right?  Here are a few more reasons why I’m pretty excited to add this to my Frugal Gardening must-haves list for spring:

  1. The Scotts® Snap® Spreader System is totally no-mess. If you’re like me, and have to grab a bit of time to work in the garden in between other tasks during my crazy-busy days – so it’s great to not have to wrestle with big messy packaging, or a process that’ll be a pain. The Snap Pac connects right to the spreader – no cutting, no opening, and no pouring from heavy bags – mean no spilling, no waste, and no sweating in your clean shirt. {Yes, some days I do manage to be wearing a clean shirt…}
  2. I love that edge guard feature. This has been a problem for me when using my little hand-held spreader gadget. It’s super old, but I hadn’t seen any affordable options that I liked to replace it, so I kept using it. But I hated that it was hard to keep it where I wanted it around the edges of the flower beds. This system is going to be a really helpful upgrade for me – finally!
  3. There are perks! Check out the awesome Snap perks on Facebook! You could win a trip for 2 to the 2012 All Start Game and World Series, an Outdoor Patio Set, or even an instant win prize of a $25 Walmart gift card. Super cool, right?

A totally unique product that is easy to use, and ensures that your yard gives off a great first impression – telling people how awesome you are, before you even open the door! Love it.

Share YOUR tips too!

Do you have any great gardening tips to share? Leave me some comments – I’m always looking for clever new ideas to try. And if you’ve already used the new Scotts Snap Spreader System – let me know what you thought of it! I’ll be getting one soon, and will share some video of it in use, but I’d love some feedback if you’ve used it yourself.

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{Photo Credit: Greg’s Landscaping, Flickr, Creative Commons.}

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Why this product is a must-have for every frugal gardener!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Most of you have probably noticed that I love to garden. Well – let me adjust that. I love to HAVE a garden. Being able to grow our own fruits and veggies so that I know the foods Abby is eating are safe is really important to me. And being surrounded by beautiful flowers and trees all summer makes me feel centered. But, I’m very much garden-challenged. Luckily, my mother moved in with me a couple of years ago, and she is a total Master Gardener, and has helped me so much. With her tips and advice, {and careful guidance when I’m digging around out there!} we’ve managed to put together a beautiful garden at our new home, that will continue to get better and better each year. Love it.

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Your New Frugal Garden Helper

One of the things that my mom helped me to learn was that it’s very seldom that your garden’s soil is optimal for growing. But it’s also pretty easy to turn that poor soil into a great place to plant – You just need a good planting mix to give it a boost. She swears by Miracle-Gro products, and is really excited to see what kind of results we get from the new Expand ‘n Gro™ product we’re using this spring. It promises to give you up to 3x the flowers and vegetables that you’re used to growing, and they are calling it their best planting mix ever. Sounds pretty awesome, right?

Why do I want to use it?

The Expand ‘n Gro planting mix is made out of 100% natural materials and, “When mixed with native soil, Expand ‘n Gro™ helps loosen and aerate soil. It creates up to 90% more air space than native soil alone, so moisture and nutrients can reach plant roots.” That means it makes any soil, even really compact and clay soil, into a spot that can finally grow beautiful fruits and flowers!

How and Where do I use it? 

Since almost everyone’s soil can use a little help, everyone can benefit from this stuff. If you’re using it in your garden, you simply spread a layer about 1-inch deep over your whole garden area. Then, using a garden tiller or even just your shovel, work it into the top 4-6 inches of soil. Then you just plant like normal, and give it a good watering. So easy peasy even I can’t mess it up!

I want to grow plants, but don’t have any room for a garden?

No worries! You would be amazed at how many things you can grow in just a few pots on your patio or porch! Grow a mini veggie garden, or just plant some pretty blooms to brighten each day. And the Expand ‘n Gro works in containter plants too. It’s easy to get started – Find some great pots with drainage holes and saucers. Fill each pot 1/3 of the way full with Expand ‘n Gro. Slowly add water, and stir it all up. The mix will expand from the water, and then be ready for you to plant as usual.

Is it really worth buying?

You know that I’m always looking for new money-saving tips, and I’m all about frugal gardening. It might at first seem like it’s a better value to just use the dirt you have, and not bother with things like potting mixes or fertilizers. But – when you plant in poor soil, some of your plants won’t make it, and the others just won’t thrive as well as they could. That’s a waste of both time and money, if your tasty veggies die before making it to your table! And the really great thing about the Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro is that it improves your soil for years – making it a really great value, and totally worth adding to your own garden this spring!

What are YOUR best spring gardening tips?

Share your best tips on growing the tastiest produce and the prettiest flowers. Do you have any great tips to save money in the garden? Do you have a favorite plant, or product? Share your great ideas in the comments – I love hearing from you guys!

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