Nifty Ways to Cut Costs, Not Plants
The birds, the bees, blooms, vegetables and dirt are all things that run through a gardener’s veins. Getting their fingers in the soil and creating a bountiful harvest are their main goals and aspirations. Gardening can range from all DIY to hiring a team of pros to help with building and maintaining. But it’s always good to know ways to save money in both a veggie and flower garden. Here are some tips on how to cut back on costs.
The Main Dirt on Gardening
Every good garden starts with rich soil. Gardeners know that not every yard or bed is blessed with dirt with the right nutrients and texture.
The best way to enrich the soil is to add natural nutrients. Instead of hauling in a truckload from the nursery, start a free compost pile using recycled materials, leaves and worms, and add to it throughout the year. Over time, the material will turn into rich natural compost to incorporate into existing soil.
If the dirt is really poor, it may need to be removed and replaced with topsoil. Ask garden friends and neighbors if they have any to spare, as this can slash costs on having it delivered by a landscaping company.
Reap What You Sow
Plants are always the star of the show in every landscape. Gardeners have their favorites and often a wish list of future plants handy. An issue is that plants, trees and shrubs can be pricey and add up when the list gets large. Save costs by:
- Starting vegetables and flowers from seeds early in the year
- Swapping seeds and plants with fellow gardeners
- Joining a local garden club to get exclusive or free deals
- Taking cuts from established perennials and annuals
- Harvesting seeds from plants once they finish blooming
- Checking the clearance racks at major garden retailers for low-cost plants and shrubs
There are many ways to find free or low-cost seeds and plants. Look at online marketplaces for offers and make friends with neighbors who garden — they often love to share.
Tools of the Trade
Aside from plants, the tools every gardener needs can be expensive. Rototillers, trimmers, mowers and garden carts can break a budget. Keep it simple and be on the lookout for great deals like these:
- Attend farm auctions to find shovels, mowers, tools and tillers for a low price
- Check thrift stores, garage sales and online classifieds for cheap garden tools
- Barter existing plants or services to have a local farmer or gardener till a garden bed
- Check out the local dollar store for seeds, gloves, garden supplies and yard ornaments
Every gardener has to start off small. A handheld trowel, trimmer and shovel go a long way for beginners. Don’t break the budget initially by adding more things the tool shed.
A summer garden is one of life’s simple pleasures. The result is a labor of love surrounded by beauty, cut flower bouquets and vegetable dishes with delectable herbs. Whether it’s about planting one or enjoying someone else’s harvest of flowers and veggies, keeping it cost-effective makes it even more of a joy!
~Here’s to Your Financial Health!