If you enjoy getting your hands dirty in the garden, you may not enjoy the expense that can come along with it. Gardening — whether you are growing veggies or flowers — doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby. Check out these tips for gardening for less.
Start Your Own Seeds
Starting plants from seed is actually much cheaper (and more meaningful) than buying plants from a nursery. You can start flower seeds and vegetable seeds before the gardening season starts then have those plants ready to transplant after the danger of frost has passed.
Save Your Seeds
At the end of the growing season, save and dry flower heads from your perennials. You can even save some vegetable seeds. Save these for next season and start again.
Create Your Own Compost
Every gardener should have a compost pile. This will give you rich soil to add to your existing soil.
This Let it Rot!: The Gardener’s Guide to Composting (Third Edition) (Storey’s Down-to-Earth Guides) is a highly rated resource to learn more about the practice of composting.
Do Some Trading
Use the old barter and trade system to get plants, gardening supplies, seeds, and other things you need.
Use Recycled Containers for Pots
Don’t go out and buy new pots and containers for your gardening projects. Take a look around at items you already have that can be used as containers. Use old buckets, milk jugs, soda bottles, even disposable cups and bowls. Anything can be used as a flower pot or a container to grow garden plants in.
Perennial flowers are the perfect choice for low-cost, long-term gardening. While the initial cost of buying perennials is not cheap, the lifespan and benefits of these plants make them a worthwhile investment. Perennials will come back year after year and will spread to fill in a flower bed. You can split them up and transplant so you will end up with several plants from one.
Shop Dollar Stores
Dollar stores are great sources for cheap gardening products. Whether you are looking for decorative items, seeds, or gardening tools, your local dollar stores is worth shopping at.
Ask for Starts of Plants
If you have friends and family who have a lot of perennials growing in their gardens and flower beds, ask for starts. Even one small start of a perennial can turn into several plants for you — for free.
Use Newspapers for Weed Cloth
Plain newspapers make great weed cloths. Save up your newspaper sections then put them down to keep weeds at bay in your garden area. Wet the newspapers as you lay them out then cover them with dirt and compost. Don’t use slick ads, but opt for the plain newsprint papers.
Save Your Kitchen Scraps
Some kitchen scraps can be added directly to your garden soil instead of the compost bin. Drop a banana peel around a rose bush to help it grow better. Grind up eggshells then sprinkle the dust around the base of plants. Dry out your coffee grounds then sprinkle into the soil around the base of plants.
Keep a trash bowl on your countertop for scraps! This Rachael Ray Melamine Garbage Bowl with Rubber Foot is a popular one (but of course you can use whatever bowl you have laying around! This one is just super pretty 😉 )
Gardening doesn’t have to be expensive if you know a few of the cheap tricks. Don’t spend hard-earned money that doesn’t need to be spent — use a few of these ideas to save you money on your gardening projects.