Gardening is a great hobby that brings you closer to nature and helps relieve stress. Gardening can be a great way to feed your family healthy fresh foods that you know and trust. Gardening can also be a great place to sink money into unwittingly. It doesn’t take much to find an avid gardener buying things they really don’t need or finding the water bill went way up. The good news is that gardening can be a very frugal hobby if you do it right.
How to save money on your garden
Save money of gardening books. Get books from the library or find gardening solutions online. Information is important. Particularly when you are new to gardening or have a problem. Instead of buying books on gardening borrow them from the library or use google to find information. I personally love to have my own paper books that I can leave my own highlights and notes in for future reference or for the children when I am long gone. As a herbalist, this can be very important for me but most gardeners won’t need the amount of information I do. To save money I buy used books off Amazon and thriftbooks.com –> Get $15 off your first order here <—as well as stopping by the book section when I go to resale shops.
Upcycle household items for your garden. From making scoops out of laundry soap jugs to using cardboard as an underlayer for your mulch to keep weeds away there are endless ways to reuse items around your home in your garden. Not only are you saving money you are helping the environment. I find seed starting is a great way to use items from around the house before they make their way into my recycling bin.
Make your own compost to fertilize your garden for less. Composting allows you to turn your family’s food scraps, grass clippings, and paper products into quality food to help your garden thrive without paying for expensive fertilizers. Learn what to compost for a thriving garden.
Use fertilizers you have available for free. Instead of spending a lot of money on fertilizer for your garden take advantage of free fertilizers, you may have access to. If you have a rabbit or a friend with a rabbit you have some of the best fertilizer you can use for free. Simply add to your compost or directly into your garden.
Be smart about water to save in your garden
Reuse greywater or catch rainwater to water your garden. Water bills can add up fast when you have a garden to care for. Using a rain barrel is the easiest way to save money watering your garden. Other options including using greywater like dumping cooking water into the garden after it cools or using a bucket to catch the cold water while you wait for it to transition to hot instead of having it go down the drain. Many families collect grey water for their garden including the rinse water from doing dishes or laundry.
Use plenty of mulch in your garden to help trap water and reduced the cost of watering your garden. Mulch is cost-effective and can help with weeds and protecting your garden from pests as well. Mulch is vital for helping your garden to survive the summer heat.
Take advantage of free mulch to help lower your cost. Using cardboard boxes you get from online shopping is a great way to block weeds. Dried grass clippings from your yard make an amazing layer of mulch. You can always top these with more attractive decorative mulch options. Call your local power company. In many areas, the power company is often looking for places to dump wood chips from trimming trees along the power lines. This is a great way to get a whole lot of mulch for free, often enough to share with neighbors. In Florida Duke Energy is known for being a very gardener-friendly energy provider that is more than happy to give you as much mulch as you are willing to take.
Save money on plants for your garden
Rescue dying clearance plants. This can be a great way to get plants for pennies on the dollar from grocery stores and other places that sell plants that may not get the love they need. These dying clearance plants can often be saved with a little pruning, water, and sunshine.
Trade seeds and cuttings with other gardeners to lower the cost of adding new plants to your garden. This is a great way to build your local garden community as well. Check your local library as many host seed training events, if they don’t they may be interested in adding one.
Save seeds at the end of the season to use the next year. This can only be done with heirloom seeds making them an even better investment than modern conventional seeds.
Regrow food from your kitchen in your garden. Foods like celery are best grown from cuttings rather than seed. This makes growing the leftover bottoms a great way to save money and grow more food for your family. be mindful that not everything you can regrow is worth the time and effort. Pineapples can take up to two years to fruit a single fruit when grown from a pineapple top and take up a large chunk of the garden. Avocados can take 5 years for the tree to produce a single avocado and are best planted through grafted rather than from the pit of your grocery store avocados.