For many, gardening is a hobby and for others, it’s literally their life. However, if you just starting out or run into a time of the year when you don’t have as much money as you normally would to put towards your garden, here are a few money-saving gardening tips that will let you partake in your gardening activities even on a low budget.
- Whether you need tools, seeds or tips, scour online sites, such as Craigslist, OrganicGardening.com, and Freecycle.org. You can find items for free, or at the very least at a low price.
- Check out the library for free gardening books that can help you get started.
- Barter and trade with your co-workers, neighbors, family members and friends.
- Be creative. Tree trunks can help make a raised bed and plant supports and trellises can be made out of brush and branches.
- It’s more cost-effective to grow from seeds and it’s early enough in the year that you shouldn’t have a problem doing so. And, while you’re at it, save the ones that you don’t use this year for next year. You’ll need a foil sachet and a dry place. Alternatively, you can swap seeds with friends or split the cost and package – either way, you save some money.
- Take cuttings from your plants. Sometimes, the best and most beautiful plants come from propagation.
- Don’t be afraid to purchase second-hand tools. Generally, someone just got tired of the tool that they had and wanted a brand-new one, a luxury that you may not be able to afford at the moment. Unless it’s broken – and sometimes it can still be used after being fixed – it can be used.
- While the local garden centre is a great place to get the latest gardening tools, they are pretty expensive. Instead, look at your local supermarket and discount stores. You should also look online and compare prices. A great time to stock up on tools, seeds and more is at the end of the season when there are a ton of price reductions and fabulous sales.
- Don’t buy compost, make your own! If you aren’t sure how, there is a wealth of information online or you can get a book from the library. Ultimately, though, a 50-50 mix of greens (vegetable and fruit peelings grass cuttings, tea bags) and browns (fallen leaves, twigs, sawdust, cardboard) will suffice.
- Don’t stop at compost, make your very own plant food and weed killer mixture. Weeds can easily be killed with full strength vinegar and plant food can be made with a 1:8 ratio of vinegar and water and a 1:8 ratio of sugar and water.