Save Money Gardening with These 5 Budget Garden Tips
I can’t believe we have been getting snow here in April. The weather is starting to get nicer, and I can’t wait to get back out into our garden again. Gardening is such a great use of time, it gets you outside, breathing fresh air and it means you can grow food and not have to spend money at the store. However, you can spend too much money gardening, too. Some people garden to save money, only to find that they’ve spent a lot more than they’ve bargained for! But, it doesn’t have to be so expensive. Here are a few budget tips to help you save money gardening if you are just beginning.
Research before you start
The easiest way to lose money while gardening is to spend too much money early on on the wrong things. Sometimes you may buy some tools or equipment with the best intentions only to find that you don’t use them much. You may also find that you spent a lot of money on growing the wrong kind of crop. The best way to save money gardening is to look at what to do and what not to do in the garden. pay attention to the season, the climate, your soil type, etc. It seems like a lot, but this basic knowledge will set you on the right foot in preparing to garden on a budget. The best way to research what to grow and how is on Youtube. You may also find good gardening books at your local library.
There are a lot of money-saving tactics that dairy is good for if you garden on a budget. Egg cartons make great starters if you plan on growing plants indoors before transplanting them to your garden. Starting indoors is particularly good if it’s still too cold outside, both for you and for the plant. You can care for them more easily and get them growing well before releasing them outdoors. The cartons are biodegradable and compostable as well which makes transplanting them easy on you and the environment. Other advantages of starting from seed are that it costs less than buying the plants themselves and you can start more of them out and then select the best ones to transplant rather than just directly sowing on expensive topsoil and hoping for the best.
Old milk can find new life-feeding plants. A simple 1:1 solution of spoiled milk and water is good food for plants. You can water them with it or spray their leaves. A side benefit of spraying the leaves is that it can prevent them from forming powdery mildew. Something my purple peas regrettably suffered last summer. You can also make little greenhouses out of empty milk and water gallons.
Use Free Pots and Planters
Whether you have a patio garden or plenty of yard space to work with, there are huge advantages to using pots and planters. Planting above ground is easier on you, but it can be expensive buying all that extra stuff. The good news is, you can often get the pots you need for your garden cheap or for free. Garage sales are really good places to find garden pots and other gardening equipment. Sometimes you won’t even have to pay anything to take them away. Your Facebook community may also have some members looking to send their unused pots and planters to a good home. Using pots helps stretch out your topsoil so you don’t have to buy too many bags. Among the stores where I’ve successfully found good garden pots for cheap are Dollar Tree and Target, but I’ve never had trouble finding free ones either.
Grow Money Saving Herbs and Veggies
Herbs are very easy to grow. They tend to be resilient and you can grow them right in your kitchen window. Fresh herbs for cooking make meals taste better and save you money on buying those herbs at the store. Planting the right vegetables can yield money-saving crops as well. Spinach and Lettuce plants can provide numerous salads throughout their lifespan. Tomatoes and Potatoes are also good strategic money-saving crops. Whatever you can use from your garden without going to the store is a big win.
Overwatering can be an expensive mistake if you’re looking to save money gardening. You can undermine a plant’s growth by drowning it and it can cost a lot of money using all that extra water up. Just make sure the soil doesn’t get too dry, it usually doesn’t need to be super wet. Pay attention to the ideal care instructions for whatever garden plants you are growing, that means keeping them in or out of the sun based on what’s best for them. If you are trying to keep your water bill down, consider plants that require less watering. Use a pitcher to garden rather than a hose to better control the amount of water you use.