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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

With the healthy skepticism of a practiced penny pincher, Erler (The Garden Problem Solver) examines just about every conceivable aspect of gardening and shows readers how to achieve beautiful, bountiful results on a budget. Erler offers a host of suggestions and technique, from finding top-quality tools at bargain-basement prices (garage sales are a good source) to using found objects for garden art (try driftwood as sculpture), propagating plants from cuttings, creating a water-wise landscape and making homemade pesticides. The Virginia gardener's emphasis is on creativity and practicality, but Erler's down-to-earth ideas don't sacrifice styleAin fact, she makes such a persuasive case for using "your ingenuity instead of your wallet" that even green thumbs with deep pockets may adopt her methods. Packaged in a reader-friendly format, the information is grouped logically, with separate chapters on such topics as tools, plants, soil amendment and design. The pages are peppered with recurring sidebars: "The Frugal Gardener's Workshop," for example, offers how-to instructions for creating a Victorian gazing globe from an inverted fishbowl and a can of metallic spray paint. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Gardening can be an addictive, expensive hobby, so a book like this one is always welcome. It will be appreciated by those gardening on a budget as well as those who simply enjoy the thrill of bargain hunting or the challenge of creative recycling. Erler, a gardening columnist and author of The Garden Problem Solver, organizes her ideas in logical sections on plants, tools, maintenance, and design, making it easy to browse for inspiration. The tips are a blend of quick fixes offering instant gratification and longer projects to plan and dream about during the winter (including a clever homemade pergola made of painted PVC pipe). For beginners, basics on wise tool and plant selection are useful. Erler includes more illustrations than Maureen Gilmer does in The Budget Gardener: Twice the Garden for Half the Price (LJ 2/1/96), making this a good purchase for all public libraries.ABonnie Poquette, Shorewood P.L., WI
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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5.0 out of 5 stars How to spend less and reap the rewards April 24 2003
By A. Ryan
The Frugal Gardener is a great book of gardening strategy for those of us who want to (or have to) stay within a small budget. As it turns out, the frugal way is also the organic way, generally.
TFG is organized to guide you through long-range strategies that will save you money in both short-term and long-term investments. An early chapter deals with the bare bones tools that you will need to start with; how to spot quality that will last, how to maintain them, and different uses for each. Next we learn how to plan a garden based on regional climates, making heavy use of naturalizing perennials and native plants that need less maintenance, watering and/or care (and so fewer products to buy). If you like the quick gratification of annuals, there are quite a few tips here that will help you maximize their impact in your garden. A great emphasis is placed on soil health, how to get it and how to increase it, thus saving more money that would have had to be wasted on expensive fertilizers and replacement plants. Then there are the recipes for homemade bug sprays and remedies that can be concocted from common household items.
TFG explained gardening organically in a way that made it easy and sensible even for me when I was first trying to make compost and wean away from chemical sprays. There is a lot that can be done to fortify and protect your plants and trees that will benefit them and the environment, and surprise! It's cheaper than chemical solutions. My garden has been thriving ever since.
Frugal gardeners, don't be afraid to spend the money on this book! Even if you only use a few of the many tips packed within this book, you will more than make up the cost of buying it in the long run.
-Andrea, aka Merribelle
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read! May 25 2001
For me, a complete novice at gardening, this was a wonderful choice as one of my first two gardening books. Before digging up my front yard, I bought a Gardening-101-type book and this book, The Frugal Gardener. As it mentions in this book, it truly IS best to be frugal right from the beginning. You save the most, get exactly what you want for your dollar, and have a good idea of how to get what you need without spending a fortune. Useful tips throughout. I'd find it interesting even if I wasn't planning out my own garden. I highly recommend.
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I'm another purchaser who first tried this book from the library and then knew in days that I needed my own copy. It offers many tips I was familiar with after years of gardening, yet hundreds I'd never heard of. Even if you are not simply looking for ways to garden on a budget, it offers many great gardening tips. Period.
There are plenty of good illustrations and the layout is appealing to the eye. It is well organized and enjoyable to read, not just to use as a resource. This book is money well spent toward your garden.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Dirt! June 13 2000
I checked this book out from the library and decided I needed to buy a copy as a reference guide for the greatest gardening ideas I've seen. This book is loaded with practical advice that is easy to follow. It takes the perfectionist out of gardening and gives you the real dirt! Many money saving ideas are contained such as easy propogation and newspaper mulching, to name just two. I highly recommend this book!
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This book was given to me as a gift, and I truly love it. All of the information is useful at some time or another, a good reference point, and excellent for planning out the garden on a shoestring. Also recommend square foot gardening.
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