The Shift to Thrift.

The Thrift of Scattering Seed.

In the next few posts we will proceed to discuss the many ways in which one can be a thrifty and successful home gardener. There are a number of plants that if planted once you will never be without as they will self sow. Some very prolific examples are marigolds, nasturtium, cosmos and tomatoes; but actually I allow many plants to self sow and chuck seeds of all sorts of veges and fruit everywhere. Being a home gardener allows for much more scope than if one is producing crops for income.

Nasturtiums are an excellent ground cover, they hold in moisture and are actually beneficial to the soil as well as you! Both the leaves and petals of nasturtiums are packed with nutrition, containing high levels of Vit C. They have the ability to improve the immune system and can ease sore throats, coughs, and colds. They are also anti- bacterial and anti-fungal. The seeds, whilst they are young and green, can be used in place of capers. I use the young leaves and flowers as a garnish on trays of sandwiches and the leaves add a lovely peppery tang to green salads.

Marigolds, nasturtium and cosmos are also excellent companion plants which will play an active role in pest reduction; in another post we will discuss the benefits of companion planting. Compost, an absolute must for any gardener, will also yield some interesting crops when dug back in to the soil. I read just recently that the very ordered garden is giving away to a much more natural garden which encourages nature to return to back yards, well all I can say is I must have been ahead of my time because I have always been a bit higgildy- piggildy in my approach to gardening. The following pics have been taken from my garden in the last week.


The raspberries are giving up their last fruit before the cooler weather hits. I just love them they remind me so much of raspberry lollies and these taste just as sweet.

Admittedly my garden is not be an expensively landscaped affair, rather it is a space where Mother Nature has the say and I simply work along side her for the sheer joy of it.

The paw-paw trees are the product of a few seeds thrown in the soil several years ago. They fruit twice a year and are going great guns.
These are my pumpkins and I am so looking forward to eating them. They are compliments of the compost put on this garden, actually months ago. This is the amazing thing about self sown plants; they have their own agenda; my job is simply to work with them.
Pumpkin vines will go on and on if they are let to do so and will put all their oomph into a great big vine and not much fruit. Find where a flower has set a baby pumpkin and cut the vine just after this spot. Then the vine will put its energy into the fruit.
When it comes to companion planting, my motto is marigolds with everything! Here they are planted near rose bushes but truly, I plant them all over the place. Their petals and the seeds are edible and can be used in salads. They are a very bright and happy plant.
O.K. Tomatoes. Some less than perfect cherry tomatoes were thrown in the compost in the old bath tub and presto heaps of tomato seedlings. Below are some of the transplanted seedlings. I prefer cherry tomatoes in the home garden as they are more resistant to disease and generally produce prolifically. You can pop a few tomato bushes in anywhere and there is nothing sweeter than a sun ripened tomato straight from the plant.
Below is one of the summer gardens in a riot of cosmos and marigold. Last week I cleared this garden and laid the cosmos and marigolds all along the side fence (pic above) I expect next spring there will be a row of alternate marigold and cosmos plants. I will dump some grass clippings over them and let Mother Nature do the rest. Note the bath tubs on the right hand side. I have recently harvested potatoes from the far one and now have seed it with beetroot and radish seeds. The front tub has self seeded rocket and some rainbow spinach which is really finished now.
The clearing begins. This garden has now been replanted with capsicum, eggplant, tomatoes, green beans and beetroot. Not yet established enough for a pic but hopefully one will come in due course.

Well that is enough for today. We will stay with this theme for the next post also as there are still more plants to talk about.

Have a go at scattering some seed, be patient and see how rewarding the sun, the soil, a little compost and a little water can be. Happy gardening.

4 replies to “The Shift to Thrift.

  1. I’m not sure the marigolds you showed are edible. The edible marigolds are Tagetes signata, often called Gem Marigolds. Or, there are the calendulas, which are often called “Pot Marigolds.” Have you ever really eaten your marigolds?????


    1. Thanks for your comment. And for your information. I have used my marigolds in marigold tea and sprinkled them on salad. I will however look further into the information you have provided. I am always learning.


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