Saving time and money around the Garden with a Touch of Humour.



Click here to Go for a detour and visit my Daughters efforts on Pallet re-cycling.


I live in South Australia. Our floral emblem is the Sturt's Desert Pea. Picture taken with an Olympus OM10

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 Disclaimer: The author disclaims any responsibility for the content of the articles herein.


I live in South Australia where the summers are long and  hot, Sometimes 40 degrees C for a week at a time and dry. Winters are usually short and wet.


Index to my money saving tips on this page.

Propagating tips Culture Watering Recycling Misc Planting times

 Propagating tips.

But first the proof of the pudding, using money saving ideas you can still have a pretty garden at the same time.


Hydroponic grown Stock

Collect cineraria seeds for next year.

Foxgloves grown in Water Well Pots

Cineraria always looks great.

Cinerarias' like a raised garden bed because they don't like wet feet.


To raise a garden bed, bury tree prun'ings and weeds. However don't use weeds such as sour sobs.




More Cinerarias

Photo taken into the late afternoon light




Yet more Cinerarias (they grow like weeds)

 Novelty Horse and Cart for the kids or for potted colour.

Apart from wheels and horses, the rest is made from pallets. 

Cost of the wood $AUD15

A novelty wheelbarrow

All made from one pallet

Another novelty Wheelbarrow     

Cost AU$15: wood for the wheel. Apart from the wheel the rest is from one pallet.  I  make the wheel out of two lengths of wood  (cheaper) and joined them with wood screws. Notice the bracing on the outside holding the slates.


Cineraria loves a well dug garden bed with discarded plants buried underneath. The Cinerarias in the picture are grown from collected seeds. Seeds are ready for collection when the seed heads are white and fluffy.

1) Collect seeds- Seeds such as cineraria and primula are easily collected by placing the seed heads upside down in a bucket. Tea strainers with various sized holes can be used to separate the seeds form the chaff.


600 punnets of Cinerarias Pic removed- since it had a pic of children

Sow seeds in punnets. Use a permanently located sprinkler for easy watering while having breakfast


CUTTINGS- HYDRANGEA CAM- Once cuttings of Hydrangea - now grown - and on display in pots- pic taken each week.

Take about 40 cuttings- place in coarse washed sand, wait for a while, pot on- if 20 grow, place pots out in the front garden with drippers. During winter I take these around the back, and grow cineraria in the same spot.


2) No room for sowing seeds, then plant Seeds around existing pot plants and prick out.

3) Seeds raising is easily done in perlite with an upside down drink container. The upside down drink container is used to keep the perlite moist.

4) Sowing seeds. To sow seeds in cells, use folded paper and a kids small paint brush to brush a few off at a time. To make sure the seeds go into the right spots, make a series of little funnels that lead to the right location retrofitting an existing punnet that has cells.

5) Cut flowers, if someone gives you a lovely bunch of flowers, and you want to grow some: cut off a few inches from the bottom when still fresh and place in coarse sand. Even if only a few grow that's a few more plants than you had before.

6) Don't leave seedlings in punnets, at least plant in pots. Seedlings in punnet's at the nursery are watered with fertilizer, if left in the punnets they may become stunted or forgotten about

7) Soil level in punnets- keep a little low so water will not run off.

8) Keep seeds in film cassette cases. Film cassette cases are fantastic for storing seeds.

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13) Wick fed plants: Mimulus like other water loving plants like growing in wick fed arrangements.



 Water loving plants love a home made water well pot gadget .(email me for details on how to make a low cost water well pot gadget) This is done using a bucket with a false floor and wick for continuous watering.

10) Vacuum valve. A vacuum valve at the side is good as an external source of water.

11) Flat ground looks boring- try a slope with grooves to stop water run off. Water only the grooves.

12) Orchid fertilizer- check the side for what's in it.

13) Hydroponics: Stocks are easily grown with hydroponic methods. Here is a stock grown in a bucket with only scoria as the growing media. A flood and drain system was used here. Also a Turnip grown by my friend John.



Stock grown in Scoria

Sweet peas grown in perlite

Show and tell at school about a sunflower grown in Scoria

John demonstrates to his wife that he needs a larger sauce pan to cook his turnip in.


A good friend of mine Ken knows all about Charm Chrysanthemums





Some pics to show the trimming required.



also likes hydroponics







Celery will grow on a raft floating on water

The roots are immersed in water and nutrient.

14) Celery in a tub. With a tub, and a piece of polystyrene foam, a raft can be made for celery to be planted into. Existing celery plants from a punnet, not seeds.

15) Pots cold in winter, compost around the pots to keep them warm.

16) Large plants: In order to obtain the largest exhibition plants, I like to plant them in pots and see which ones are going to be the largest. The largest are then planted out in the garden.

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17) Water Wonder: is a device that goes on the end of a hose to convert a gushing stream of water into a gentle flow.

18) Three outlets on the one pipe for watering pots.

19) Watering can rose- put the rose into the watering can to avoid losing

0;FONT COLOR=�34;#400080">20) Sprinklers- $2 unit and soft spray

21) Fire man's Hose, around 80 cents/metre from the fire station.

22) Extension arms for hand held sprays: use a rake to hold the hose and the hand held spray.

23) Garden bed sprinklers-place around the edge to avoid damage to the hoses.

Tank cleaning; Siphon out water before tipping over to avoid cracking the soldered joints .

25) Petunias - grow them up with plastic for planting out. I like to have petunias that are in flower for planting out. Growing them under plastic allows this.

26) Ag drain uses- acts as a drain in winter, and under ground irrigation in.

27) Air conditioner- collect water or a tube to water garden.

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28) Need to make a lot of small holes for seedlings while standing. Make a Hand held Garden spade on the end of a stick for small plant holes.

29) Scoop from old containers. We have 2 litre plastic milk containers, and with the handle they make a great scoop for potting mix.

30) Tree logs cut out for plants. A chain saw is required for this one.

30) Tree logs cut out for plants. A chain saw is required for this one.

31) Hills Hoist wire; Thread down the vertical down pipes. If the pipes become full of leaves shaking the wire loosens the leaves.

32) If you live on low side of road - clean the road drains before any floods. At least check the drains if its an offence to clean them in your area.

33) Labels from milk container to write details- time planted. Make lines like this , and cut to each apex cut out the labels.

A little diagram to show the triangle wave in the middle for making labels.

34) Builders mesh for hot house, shade house and trellis.

35) Rotating compost bins from large used containers.

Rotating Compost Bin made from a large dis-used container available at fodder stores. The whole thing costed around $30.00 email me for details about how to make it. The lid is a clip on type


36) Pallets recycled These are available free from some factories. 

(Click this line to take a peek at my Daughters Comedy Pallet Site)

Wheel Barrows, and support structures for planter boxes and tables. I made five of these for Wheel Barrows for Christmas presents. My sister uses her's as a inside container for the fire wood .

Wheel barrows from pallets- Before and after planting. On the pic with the flowers you can just see the wheel at the bottom of the pic. I used super cascading petunias with small geraniums.  My kids like playing with the wheel barrows. ** email me for the wooden wheel barrow plan **.

Some of the horse and cart are from pallet wood.  

The heavy wood from pallets makes a good support for a planter log. Even a serving table can be made from pallets.


Picket fences out of pallets. They make great picket fences for children's gardens. To make the picket fence cut out the top rail and remove each second slate. (I will take a pic soon.)

37) Worm farms from foam boxes. Foam Broccoli boxes with Avocado boxes stacked inside make ideal worm farms. Once the worms have eaten the contents of the bottom level they move up a level to the fresher scraps. I find the Worm Farm Material is a great source of plants in the vegetable garden. Seeds from all sorts of vegetables that have been scraped in the past germinate, thus eliminating the need to plant seedlings.

The foam broccoli boxes insulates against our hot days and cool nights. Don't forget to make a hole in the bottom of the broccoli box for the liquid to drain out. Check out the animated gif file. ( I'll have to include pictures of the worms in the future.) When using horse manure, don't use manure from a horse that has been wormed. ( Find a talking horse like Mr Ed so you can ask him if he has been wormed.)


Try Worms in your compost bin once the temperature has cooled down in the compost.

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38) Contrasting colours in the flower bed - like a TV set dark and light colours. An example is white and purple petunias. The purple makes the whites look brighter.

39) If your cups of Tea taste terrible: empty the kettle once a week.

40) Library books, and plants from trading tables at clubs.

41) Kids plastic beach spades for cleaning gutters.

42) Indoor Light levels - Place a white board next to the plant in doubt. With an automatic camera with 100 as a film check. If an automatic camera flash is going to go off then the light level is too low where the plant is.

43) Trolley cart for plants and heavy items. Don't hurt your back, use a trolley or a sack truck.

44) Small scales to check weight of granulated fertilizer in shops. Some people open the lids and pinch a hand full of the granules in their pockets.

45) Compost - At garden centres the fresh compost at the front is usually still hot. I get compost from the back of the heap where its cool.

46) Use old pallets for making pot plant carry trays for dunking pots in Kids play shells.

47) Pot Bibs-I like to make the most of the rain in summer when propagating cuttings in pots. This is easily done by fitting bibs to the tops of the pots. The bibs are made of sheet plastic that's available from graphic arts reproduction shops.



48) Pots vs Buckets. Over here I can by a bucket cheaper than a pot. At shops I keep an eye out for a good colour bucket without a spout. Regal Pelagonians love buckets with a few holes drilled in the bottom.

HI-RESOLUTION version of this page


Tea Tree Gully District Garden Club Inc.




I am/was a member of the following garden clubs;

TEA TREE GULLY DISTRICT GARDEN CLUB INC. (I was the club president.)

HYDROPONIC SOCIETY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA INC. (I was the club President and Secretary at different times.)



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