Free and Low Cost Landscaping Goods
There are several opportunities for gardeners to improve their landscape this week at little to no cost: On November 1, visit supermarkets for free straw. Our closest grocery uses straw bales to display pumpkins and then gives them away after Halloween. We use straw to protect our strawberries from frost/thaw heaving, to mix in garden beds, and for chicken run bedding.
Word on the street (aka twitter) is that the Columbus Habitat for Humanity ReStore has large bags of organic top soil for $2, quite a steal. They almost always have scrap lumber, spare patio stones, and paint for fall home and garden improvement projects.
Locals can check out the Chadwick Arboretum Fall Tree sale next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. They have a long list of native trees and shrubs available for purchase at very low cost. If I had more growing space, I would be interested in the butternut ($10), pawpaw ($15) and persimmon ($15) trees, all favorites of edible forest gardening expert David Jacke.
If you aren't lucky enough to have a university sponsored arboretum nearby, keep an eye on your local nursery. This is the time of year that many fruit trees are marked at clearance prices. Given a little bit of care over the winter, fruit trees will return to life in the spring.
Go forth and love your landscape this autumn!