Dig Up Value in Your Yard!

Written By Donna Kinerd

The Appraisal District certainly thinks you must have money buried in your yard! Start digging!

Want to put a new plant in that vacant spot in your yard but must make a choice between buying a new plant or buying gasoline to go to work on Monday! What would your G-G-Grandmother have done? Before credit cards, people bartered!!

There are options! Most landscaping plants can be propagated from cuttings. There are also people willing to give away plants, especially if you are willing to dig. You also probably have something that you can use to barter with, landscape bricks, stepping stones, books, etc.

Hibiscus bushes, Pride of Barbados, Confederate Rose and Candle Stick Plants, just to name a few, are fast growers and grow well in the Mission Bend area. You can start them from cuttings or seeds and in a few weeks/months you will have a good sized plant to fill in that vacant spot.

True, you are not going to have an instant fix, but most plants started from cuttings grow very fast and don’t cost anything or very little! Maybe a neighbor or a family member has a plant, bush, vine or small tree and are willing to let you take a cutting or harvest the seeds.

Plants make great gifts with a personal touch. If you don’t have time to knit, take cuttings and plant seeds now so that by the time the Holidays, birthday, etc. roll around, you will have lots of plants to give away.  Christmas Cactus makes a great gift during the holidays because that is when they bloom.

Think of the money you will save!  Unlike knitting, while you are busy with your life, your plants are quietly growing and need very little attention other than water.

A small Ficus Tree makes a great gift and can be easily started from cuttings. Everyone loves plants, teachers, relatives, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

Be creative when it comes to pots for gift plants.  A cup and saucer can be used for African Violets, Christmas Cactus and other plants with a small root system.

Indoor plants do not need a hole in the bottom of the pot if rocks are used for drainage and not over watered.

Local garage sales are great source to find decorative containers to put gift plants in, you might even find some plants.

Do an Internet search using the name of a plant and there will be several sites to choose from that will provide details on how to care for that particular plant.

The Houston Plant Exchange is a group of Houston area “Plant People”.  It is free to join,  and free advice is for the asking.  One of the most knowledgeable members/moderators of the group lives in Mission Bend.

Post a question and very quickly you will have numerous responses. “Plant People” are very generous people and are willing to share, barter and give away plants, cuttings, seeds and advice.

There are Fall and Spring Plant Swaps held in more than one area of Houston, no money changes hands only plants and plant related items.

There is free stuff and people willing to barter for home improvement items on the sites listed below.  If you are willing to dig, there are many opportunities for free plants.  Take safety precautions when dealing with such sites.

Gathering seeds from bedding plants is another money saving idea and barter material.

Money can be saved by growing a few vegetable plants in pots in your back yard.  Fresh home grown veggies are easy to grow.

Upside down tomatoes is a new concept, works very well, no weeds, and can be done for free or very little expense.  What a great gift idea for grandma’s birthday!

Not only will you save money by using some of these suggeston but it is fun for the entire family and a great way to teach children about nature.