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Master Gardener Carl Parsons offers some advice for keeping your garden looking good for less. (5/16/14)

Creating a beautiful garden can cost a pretty penny. But you can still create a gorgeous garden on a tight budget.

Here are five tips to help:

1) Grow plants from seeds

Try not to buy fully grown plants. Instead try growing them from seeds.

2) Make your own compost

Shred up leaves and kitchen scraps to create your own compost. Be sure not to include oils or grease in your compost.

3) Make your own weed block

Surround your plants with newspaper or cardboard and put mulch on top.

4) Make your own mulch

Make your own mulch from pine needles, shredded leaves, straw, and lawn thatch.

5) Buy more annuals instead of perennials

An annual plant completes its life cycle, from germination to the production of seed, within one year and dies. Annuals tend to bloom all season long. Even though you'll have to replant next year, annuals tend to be cheaper than perennials and are less of a commitment. Some annuals are self-seeding, so you could wind up with new flowers the following year without having to plant them yourself. But here's the catch - the flowers won't be exactly where you planted them this year.

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