how to be a thrifty gardener, and break the law!

I read a really good article on ‘thrifty’ gardening the other day, being a thrifty sort of chap, this one piqued my interest, particularly with the veiled invitation to do something illegal – all in the name of thrift!

See this excellent recipe for home made weedkiller, which is near as dammit organic in nature – beware, only use it if you are ready to face the wrath of the law!!  Also, I wouldnt go putting this wicked concoction on a bit of land I wanted to grow anything on – only really suitable for between bits of paving or something.

“The most effective home-made weedkiller is a mixture of four cups of vinegar to half a cup of salt and a couple of teaspoons of washing-up liquid. When the salt is fully dissolved, just spray or wipe it on to broad-leaved weeds such as docks and ground elder. Unfortunately, it is lethal to all other plants around it as well. It works best in sunny conditions. Coca-Cola is surprisingly good for killing off weeds in pavement cracks. It is a bit sticky, but very effective if used on a sunny day.”

Not only weedkiller but fertiliser was covered in this excellent article, which is a promo for a whole book on thrifty gardening – just read the article, its thriftier!

“Comfrey tea is made from steeped leaves, and can be used as a general-purpose fertiliser or pick-me-up. On newly established plants, harvest only half the leaves and send any flowering stalks to the compost bin. Otherwise, harvest by cutting the leaves right down to the ground. Established plants can be harvested up to four times a year. Stuff as many fresh or wilted leaves as possible into a container with a tightly fitting lid and fill it with water. Exact quantities are not too important. Weigh the lid down with bricks and after 10 days or so your brew will start to ferment. You will know it is doing well when you can barely get near the container, as comfrey stinks when it is rotting – that’s where the tight-fitting lid comes in.

I almost relish the stench now because I know that what most offends my nose will please the plants. As a rule, however, I never use comfrey on houseplants. It just smells too much indoors.

Nettles also make an effective tea. Young spring plants make the strongest concoction; as with comfrey, when it really starts to smell you’ll know it’s ready.”

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