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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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More About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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!).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book to curl up with. Lots of tips and ideas. I love to garden and have been doing it for some time and this book reminds me you can always learn something new. Read morePublished 4 months ago by onfire
There are many good examples of ways to save money and still have a beautiful and productive garden.
I plan to try the composting tips. Read more
"Use it up, wear it out, make do, do without."-Old New England saying. My mom used to say this and I was so surprised when I saw it in Maureen Gilmer's book. Read morePublished on March 14, 2013 by Morgain