Frugal Gardening

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3 mins read

Since I’ve started gardening again, I was reminded of something David Good and another gardener friend said of me. They said I am a study in how to do things in the laziest, cheapest, most haphazard way possible and still get results. Dave said I should start a Youtube channel called “The Half-Assed Homesteader.”

I’m not about to start a YT channel, but I will share my wisdom with y’all now and then. Here’s one I did today:

Let’s say you want to plant some veggies in pots, and you have some of those cheapie big black plastic plant nursery pots you got for free from a friend in landscaping. You want to get the maximum bang for your buck and it strikes you as frustrating to have to fill that pot with nice rich black soil when most veggies only need a few inches of it (especially things like lettuce, spinach, broccoli, etc…)

Well the stump pot is the answer. Assuming you have access to some trees that have been cut down (and you should always collect those whenever possible), you likely have a pile of logs somewhere. So cut a stump that is just long enough to fill most of the pot, and leave about 4-5″ of soil on top. You can even throw sticks and bark around the edges too. So now you have used only a couple shovelfuls of potting soil and you have a stump filling most of the pot. Preferably oak or some similar hardwood, although pine will do well too (pine is better for berries).

The dead wood under the soil will start holding water. Lots of nice water. So you have a built-in reservoir. And as the stump begins to decay, the plant’s roots will find its way in, and start feasting on all that decaying wood. In fact there is some dude David Good pointed me to who has done studies and found that plants grow *better* with a stump in the pot. So now you have a good pot of veggies for this season, and by next season that stump will have decayed into rich black soil, so it is now perfect for things that need deeper roots, like tomato plants or carrots.

You’re welcome.

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