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Gardening on the Cheap

by Tiffany in Gardening

Gardening on the CheapWith so many people struggling economically these days there is a renewed interest in gardening. However, many people fear that starting a garden may stretch their budget to the breaking point. That doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. It is possible to garden quite cheaply.

Plan Ahead

One of the best ways to keep the garden affordable is too plan ahead. Visit yard sales, auctions, and other places where you may find gardening tools and equipment for sale cheaply. You can also check Craigslist weekly for the stuff you want and even ask friends and family if they have anything they want to sell or get rid of. Getting a few basics to begin your garden by purchasing used tools can save you a great deal of money. If you are a beginner gardener you should also start out small. There is no reason to go hog wild your first try and possibly waste money when you make inevitable mistakes. Choose to grow those foods that you are likely to eat the most of and that are simple to grow. You would be surprised how much money you can save just growing your own onions, potatoes, garlic, carrots, and tomatoes. And most if not all these plants are easy to grow.

You might want to make your first try at gardening in containers if you can find the appropriate size containers for the plants you want to grow.

Things you may want to look for second hand are mini-greenhouses or materials to make one, grow lights, planters, pots, and garden tools like rakes and trowels.

Cheap Seeds And Plant Starters

For some plants you can use what you have in your house instead of purchasing seeds. The book Don’t Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps has tons of ideas for you.

I have to say though that heirloom or heritage seeds really aren’t that expensive if you go small. I think I paid only a little over $20 for seven packets of heirloom seeds that will last for at least two years. Plus I can allow some of the plantings to go to seed and then save my own seeds as farmer’s have done for centuries.

If it is a flower garden you are wanting then check the classifieds, visit farmers markets and ask friends for starter plants. Your community may also have an organized seed swap or a local park/garden may sell affordable bulbs and seedlings to raise funds for garden upkeep. You will be amazed how cheaply you can purchase bushes and flower bulbs from a variety of sources.

Recycle It  

Milk jugs and large plastic bottles can be turned into cloches. Toilet paper rolls can be cut in half and used as biodegradable pots for seedlings. Egg shells can also hold new seedlings. Old rain gutters, tires, tin cans, even boots can be used as planters. Popsicle sticks can be used as plant markers. A broken ladder can be used as a trellis for vines. There are numerous ways to incorporate recycled materials into your garden and save things from the landfill.

Make Your Own Compost

You can also garden cheap by making your own compost from grass clippings and vegetable waste from your kitchen. Composts provides rich nutrients that plants need and saving that kitchen waste not only saves you money but, helps to keep the environment cleaner as well. I have written reviews of a countertop composter and an indoor/outdoor worm bin.

You can garden on the cheap simply by planning carefully, buying used, and finding your plant starters or seeds wherever you can, even in your own kitchen cabinets. Hopefully your grocery budget will get a small break as your garden grows.

Monday, February 13th, 2012

6 Comments on Gardening on the Cheap

  • Escon Enterprises

    Planning ahead is a very practical idea. Sometimes, when we want to do something, we have this great picture in our minds, but to achieve that we have to plan ahead and assess everything that is needed to achieve our goal. I agree with you, start out small and see how it goes first. :)

  • I am so looking forward to summer to plant all the tasty and nutritious veggies! :-)

  • Great ideas Tiffany! We are planning on doing a garden on our porch this year so I’ve been looking around for containers but never thought about using the vinegar bottles for plants – we go through the gallon containers of vinegar bi-weekly so note to self save the vinegar bottles instead of tossing them in the recycling bin!

  • A worm bin is on my short list and I need to start saving the grass clippings too-right now we bag them. I took a year off from gardening, but this year I’m back!

    • Robbie

      A worm bin can be as simple as an old cooler with holes punched in!

      • Or a plastic storage tub. Lots of cheap options.