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The Small Budget Gardener: All the Dirt on Saving Money in Your Garden Paperback – February 1, 2010


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Book Description

With consumers seeking ways to do more with less money, this book is a must have for gardening on a budget. With helpful tips and advice, gardeners can create beautiful, healthy sustainable landscapes with recycled materials and limited resources. Author Mauren Gilmer includes a chapter on food gardening and preserving precious resources.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Maureen Gilmer has risen to the top of gardening media in America through books, television, radio, newspapers and the Internet. She is the author of more than 15 gardening books and writes Yardsmart, a national color newspaper column in its fourth year syndicated weekly by Scripps Howard News Service. She is host and project designer for the television series, Weekend Gardening, on the DIY Network. Her articles and photography have appeared in national magazines and frequently appears on numerous television and cable programs
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Cool Springs Press (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591864615
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591864615
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #998,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Maureen Gilmer is a second generation Californian with over thirty years experience in arid climate gardening, landscape architecture and the environment. She's published 18 books and countless magazine features on plants, design and wildfire in the west. For a decade she's been writing a national Yardsmart column that runs every week with color photography. Yardsmart is syndicated by Tribune Content Agency including the Scripps and McClatchy newspaper chains. Maureen also writes a weekly color column for the Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs.

Maureen has appeared on The View, The Early Show, Good Morning America, and was host and project designer for four seasons of Weekend Gardening, on the DIY Channel.

Her newest books are focused on desert conditions and drought with the upcoming release: Growing Vegetables in Drought, Desert and Dry Times: The Complete Guide to Organic Gardening Without Wasting Water (December, 2015, Sasquatch Books). She's author of Palm Springs-Style Gardening (Sunbelt, 2009) now in it's third printing.

Maureen lives in the California desert north of Palm Springs where she's rehabilitating an old cactus garden with her husband Jim. When not gardening she's riding wilderness trails on her Arabian horse.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By OldRoses on March 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
I bought my first house 25 years ago. It was an old Victorian in dire need of renovation. The yard was in even worse shape. Previously a rental, the landlord had paved part of the backyard with gravel to create a parking lot. The rest of the yard was a jumble of vines including poison ivy. I was literally starting with nothing. I didn't even own any garden tools.

Over the next ten years, I tamed the yard. It was a period of trial and error, finding the best tools for the job, finding plants and seeds, learning to compost and most importantly, finally learning to identify poison ivy to which I am horribly allergic. That experience shaped the frugal gardener that I am now.

I wish I had had this book when I bought that house. It would have saved me a lot of time, energy and especially money. Maureen Gilmer has written one of the best how-tos I have ever read. Page after page, I found myself nodding in agreement. Following her clear step by step instructions, anyone can create a wonderful garden with a minimal outlay of money.

There are so many things that I love about this book. She tells the reader what tools to buy, and more importantly, what tools not to buy. She demystifies composting. She makes clear that organic gardening is not just better for the environment but is actually cheaper than using commercial fertilizers. Best of all, she not only tells you what materials you need, she also tells you where to find them. She talks about yard art, drip irrigation, propagation, seed starting and cold frames, all using free or recycled materials.

I only have two small quibbles with the material. She devotes an entire chapter to online sources for tools, plants and seeds, all of which are reputable dealers.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Fern Richardson on February 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
You may know Maureen ("Mo") Gilmer from her blog, "MoZone," from one of the 17 (!!!) books on gardening that she has authored, from her nationally syndicated newspaper column "Yardsmart," or perhaps you've seen her on the DIY or HGTV television networks. Needless to say, Gilmer knows a lot about gardening, and I was interested to read what such a thoughtful gardener had to say about being frugal. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the book is not only about how to spend less while gardening, but also about how to use your garden to save money in other areas.

The Small Budget Gardener is broken down into three broad sections: Stretch Every Dollar; Environmental Cents; and Gratis--As It Should Be. The first part is all about buying only what you actually need and how to get good deals on those must-have tools, fertilizers, and pest control products. The second section is full of ideas for living a green lifestyle without having to buy expensive "green" products or break the bank buying organic produce. What I thought was really great was that Gilmer included ideas to actually save you money by using your garden to reduce your energy and water bills. The final section is all about ways to garden without spending a dime, like ideas on how to get plants for free from your local government.

This book is just chock full of ideas for saving money. Gilmer covers everything from tips on buying used tools at estate sales to providing lists of easily divided perennials. For example, you may already know that you can mix in coffee grounds into the soil around your plants to add nitrogen, but Gilmer also points out that you can add the ashes from your fireplace to give your plants a potassium boost. Perhaps more importantly, she talks about changing your midset.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rosanne on April 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have had this book for a couple of years and now that I'm not working anymore and trying to garden in a new place, I have found this book indispensable for helping me come up with ideas for making my kitchen garden successful, and nice looking, without spending more money than I have. I especially love her ideas for reusing things, and for using materials in your own yard for making necessary things, like trellises and fencing -- I have used many of these ideas very successfully!
I would definitely recommend this book for those who want to vegetable garden, but don't want it to cost more than what it would cost you to go the store and buy your food!
I gave it four stars because I really miss having an index in the back of the book. I would love to see the author revise the book and include an index, as well as update it with the new no-till methods of gardening (which I am also using successfully!).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jiggerun on March 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read this book through our local library. I loved it and it has so much information that we had to have it for ourselves. It had a lot of recipes and ideas about how to be green and planet friendly tips that our grandparents used to use that have been forgotten over the years. And it was great to see that most of them are what I already have in my pantry or was decently cheap to get. How great ideas on how to reuse stuff or where to spend my money and where it would be wasted most if I did. Love this book! It was almost like a great reference manual in the end. A must have if you want to keep it simple and green.
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