Garden Bargains

Listening to the weather Saturday night, the weatherman said that 16 of the last 18 days we had had some sort of precipitation.  Well, no gosh darned wonder I’ve had a case of the blues.  I need a few sun rays to actually hit my skin to make me feel good…that or a really good bargain.  I got a little of both yesterday.

The peas in the “hoop house” really need some kind of support, and I’ve been trying to figure out a no-cost, use-what-I-already-have solution.  Free Cycle to the rescue.  There was an offer of “26 tall three-sided tomato cages.”   I was picturing the three flat panels that fold into a triangle, and I figured I could unfold them and run them down the middle of the row.  The bad news is that they were not the three-panel fold-out cages that I pictured in my head, the good news is that these are heavy metal five and six-foot tall plant stakes that will last forever. 

Plant Stakes

Thank you Free Cycler Jeni!!

Speaking of bargains, I had some time to kill the other day and stopped in at Lowes.  I needed some small stones that I’m going to use in the bottom of my planters.  I found a bag that had been ripped and was half off.  They had some marked down mulch, and I grabbed a couple of bags.   At the checkout, I saw some seed potatoes and asparagus, so I grabbed one of each to give them a try.  My bill was just over $8.  That’s when I saw the potatoes and asparagus were half off…so I grabbed another package.

So, for the grand total of $10.14, tax included, I got:

  • 1 six-pack of asparagus
  • 2 ten-packs of seed potatoes
  • 2 2.? cubic bags of mulch
  • 1 bag of river pebble

marked down seed potatoes and asparagus

Added bonus:  They’re already chitted, so I can plant them right away.  Hopefully I’ll have better luck than last year with the potatoes.    I had almost decided to not even try this year, but destiny stepped in.  First with the bargain on the seed potatoes, and then I saw this yesterday:

volunteer potato

Looks like a volunteer potato to me.  The strange thing is it’s not even in the same bed that I grew them in last year.  The only thing I can think is that an eye from a potato peeling that went into the compost must have caught.  Sounds like destiny is saying, “Try again.  Grow them over here.” 

Now that I think about it, trying something new, I chopped up the veggie peelings in the food processor with water and poured the slurry over the bed thinking it would be an dinner invitation to the worm population.  If a potato can grow from that, nice pre-chitted seed potatoes ought to be fantastic.

The asparagus looks really dried out, but hopefully it’s just dormant, not dead.  I’ll give it a little time and we’ll see.

Speaking of seeing (nice little segway, huh), how’d you like to see this across the fence as you’re gardening?  World Naked Gardening Day was May 2.   No, I didn’t participate.  I don’t want to scare my neighbors too much.  This wonderfully informative information came from my Park Seed newsletter.  Ahhh, what goes through the mind of a gardener.

Happy (not naked for me) Gardening!!!


  1. engineeredgarden said,

    May 4, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Cheryl, those will work quite well for the peas. I’ve got 4 sets of the cages that you were thinking of, and will use them to hopefully keep the corn from falling over. Dang….I can’t believe I missed naked gardening day! Oh well….there’s always next year. Ha!

  2. gardengoodies said,

    May 4, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    The only problem with the stakes is that they’re taller than the cover on the bed. The weather is warmer now, so I’m leaving it open all night, and in a couple of days I’ll remove it and then put the stakes in the ground.

    Next year, huh? I’m looking forward to that post…complete with video :~)

  3. May 4, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Well, I’m sure glad I missed that celebration! EG showed his naked finger-toes, that was enough for me 😉

    What a good find you got from Free Cycle! I sure wish we had that in our area. I’m surprised we don’t, we’re not exactly back-country here in the Tri-Cities.

    I had a volunteer potato where I buried my kitchen veggie scraps in the garden last year, but it was smack dab in the center of where I wanted to plant carrots, so it got dug out.

    • gardengoodies said,

      May 4, 2009 at 11:52 pm

      Naked finger-toes…that was just a little tease, a promise of things to come next year.

      Lookie what I found:

      I hope that it’s close to you. If not, you can start your own group in your area. I just love it. Wish I knew about it before I moved because I left a lot of good stuff behind that I could have given away.

      EG’s corn in his SWC made me think about doing corn. Just an idea (because the wheels are always turning), I wonder if alternating squares with corn and potatoes would work. I think they’d both be ready about the same time, but maybe the corn wouldn’t allow enough sun for the potatoes. Something else to look into.

      Another thought. When I grew corn before I had to anchor the roots with more dirt, which would work to hill up the potatoes. (Thinking out loud here…well, sorta out loud). I might try it with the half bed that’s unplanted.

  4. May 5, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Well for….I thought I was the Google Queen, but I had looked for Free Cycle in the Tri-Cities before, and never found a thing! I’m surprised it is a Yahoo! group. I had to think real hard to remember my Yahoo! sign in name! Anyway, my membership is pending, so hopefully….thanks!

    I’ve never heard about planting corn and potatoes together. Sounds like something you’d better try, oh Adventurous One 😉 What have you got to lose?

    My Campbell seeds (seedlings) are weird. Out of 9 seeds, I have 3 little thread-like stems sticking up, with no leaves.

    • gardengoodies said,

      May 5, 2009 at 4:34 pm

      Sometimes that Google thing works. I’ve been trying to find on-line pictures of the tomato stakes I got, but I haven’t had any luck so far. I want to see what they look like in action.

      I’m so glad you can hook up with Free Cycle. I’ve got to make some offers so I can balance the scales again. Over the weekend I got a bunch of VHS tapes….yes, I still use my VHS player. They only list so many in the ad, and one of them was Pulp Fiction, which I’ve been wanting to watch again. I just love my old movies. I went all the way to the other side of the city to get them. There were more than 50 movies in the bin. (Bonus, I got a plastic bin). I’ll probably offer some of the movies back through Free Cycle after I’ve watched them.

      That corn/potato thing…I think my desire to grow doesn’t necessarily match my growing space and I need to reel it in a little.

  5. May 5, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    Well, they look like these…if they are, you just got a goldmine!

    • gardengoodies said,

      May 5, 2009 at 11:12 pm

      That’s them. That’s got to be my best deal ever. They were moving and offering so much…even booze. They had the things out on the porch with name tags.

      Your reign over the Google universe, Your Majesty, remains in effect. I searched and searched and couldn’t find anything. It didn’t even occur to me to look at a garden supply store. Duh. (Thanks)

  6. Dan said,

    May 5, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    Nice find with those tomato ladders. A three pack of them at garden supply company are 30 bucks. –,37-809RS,default,cp.html

    I think naked gardening day should be in July, May is a little nipply 🙂 Thanks for the award Cheryl!!!

    • Dan said,

      May 5, 2009 at 11:18 pm

      oops, looks like the tomato cage mystery was already solved.

      • gardengoodies said,

        May 5, 2009 at 11:38 pm

        You and Granny were on the same wave length there.

        Naked…nipply. I’m conjuring up mental images. All right, I’ll be quiet now.

        (You’re welcome)

    • May 5, 2009 at 11:36 pm

      Cheryl, anyone who uses the word “nipply” deserves an award, huh?

      • gardengoodies said,

        May 5, 2009 at 11:45 pm

        True, true, true.

  7. May 5, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    Well, some of us has it and some of us doesn’t. 😉

  8. May 5, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    I keep forgetting you have a “reply” button for each comment. It would be nice if I kept my replies to you in order, wouldn’t it? I wish I had that on Blogger.

    • gardengoodies said,

      May 5, 2009 at 11:47 pm

      That is kind of a nice feature. I wish they would allow more widgets, though. Anything java script won’t work.

      I’d love to be able to display my award on the sidebar. Is there a widget code for it? If you want to e-mail me, that would be fine.

  9. gardengoodies said,

    May 5, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    I was extremely lucky on that one.

  10. March 13, 2012 at 6:02 am

    What a lovely story! The tale in this YouTube video that is posted here is truly a pleasant one with having nice picture feature.

    • March 13, 2012 at 6:37 pm

      The potatoes didn’t do so well that year, but the asparagus produced huge ferns. I hope to be able to harvest some asparagus this year.

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