Gardens come in all sizes, styles, and purposes. Every dedicated gardener understands that with variety, comes beauty and with effort, comes magnificent results. This is particularly true for those who perceive a limited budget as an exciting challenge.
With a dash of resourcefulness and ingenuity, there are plenty of ways to garden better without breaking the bank. Here are clever ways to garden on a budget.
1. Participate in seed exchanges
Be on the lookout for local seed exchanges in your area. Not only do you get to swap seeds for free. You can chance upon seeds you’ve been meaning to grow and get ride of those that you don’t like much. Furthermore, a lot of these seeds are heirloom seeds, which can sustain you for a long time without shelling out anything.
Sign up online or check with your community’s master gardener for future seed exchanges. Once you’re in one, ask as many necessary questions as you can so you can keep seed for a long while.
2. Go for cuttings
Gardening on a budget doesn’t only mean saving seed. It also means learning the art of cutting and propagating.
See which ones you can cut from your own garden to give you a head start. If you have a friendly neighbor with plants you’re keen to grow, perhaps their generosity or a plant swap could work. Once you have your cuttings, pot them in moist perlite and you’ll be seeing progress within weeks.
3. Recycle and repurpose
Designing your garden shouldn’t burn a deep hole in your pocket. Plants are expensive enough. The best you can do is to take the time and scavenge what you can recycle and repurpose.
Start with your home. Look for items you can reuse as planters or raised beds. See which ones you can decorate your garden with like wooden pallets, old tires or even an unused bathtub. Who knows? Your friends may have unused wood and other materials you can definitely work with. Just remember not to get too crazy about it. You’d want a list of items you need first so you can remain focused. Otherwise, your garden is going to end up like a junk yard.
4. Get your hands on free mulch and compost
In case you’ve been missing out, many tree-cutting companies hold on to hefty piles of mulch and compost that they often give away for free. Moreover, many neighborhoods turn green waste into mulch or compost.
Sure, you won’t have full control over what’s in it. That’s why it’s important to exercise caution. However, this is definitely a money-saving hack you should explore. On a sidenote, there are plenty of household items you can use as compost for free. From your used coffee grounds and newspaper to twigs and branches lying around, consider your home a free treasure chest.
4. Collect rainwater
Watering a big garden can cost a lot of money. Part of gardening on a budget is to apply water-saving tricks so your next bill won’t scare you away.
Position barrels to collect rainwater in. Store them in larger containers afterwards so you don’t have to turn on your sprinklers for a long time.