How to Save Money while Gardening?- Simply follow 3R’s Rule to save money in your gardening budget. These Rules are Restore, Recycle and Reuse as much as you can. Try to restore damaged containers, tools, or even plants. Clean and recycle them and finally reuse them as they were intended to be used. All of these require some time and effort but can save tons on new tools and containers.
Everyone loves gardening. Some of us are privileged to have an open garden while others may have some containers with a beautiful plant. No matter how big or small it is, every garden is unique and important for its owner. So as a gardener we always try to keep our garden clean, healthy and beautiful. All of these require some resources and hence we need to lose some buck for it.
Investment in the garden is inevitable but isn’t it true that we all want to save as much as we can. Therefore we have planned to help you save some extra buck out of your gardening budget. With this guide, you will definitely get some ideas to save more money while gardening.
Check out my previous post: Does Gardening Really Save Money?
Easy steps to save Save money on Gardening Budget
We have selected several gardening tasks that can help you in cost-cutting without affecting the desired outcome. Trust me these are effective techniques, I am following these for years. Every year this guide has helped me to save almost 20% of the gardening budget. I hope this will help you too.
Select only suitable plants adaptable to your environment
The first rule of cost-saving in a garden is to select the best plant variety. You can choose any plant or variety to grow according to the season. It is perfectly fine to select something exotic but keep in mind it will cost more in maintenance.
Plants compatible with your local temperature and soil type will require very little care. Hence you can save lots of money that you may otherwise spend on fertilizers, pesticides, and so on.
This choice has another great advantage. You will get more yield from local compatible varieties than any exotic one. Therefore choose plants carefully to avoid extra investment.
Grow only Those fruits & veggies that you actually need
Choose plants according to your need unless you are planning to sell the fruits. Growing your own fruits and vegetables can save you some extra money on grocery bills. In fact, you will get farm-fresh fruits and vegetables at less than half the price of grocery stores.
Keep in mind your garden products are fresh and healthy as you know them.
Growing plants without any use is a perfect way to waste money in gardening. No don’t look like that, I know we all have some plants for decoration or so. Still, those are for some definite use not for trial. Therefore if you want to save money then grow the only plant that you actually need.
Use seeds instead of seedlings to grow Plants
I know some of you may differ from my opinion. Seed germination, growing seedlings, and then planting is indeed a time taking and laborious task. You may think of it as a wastage of time but believe me. This little work and effort can give you dozens of seedlings at the cost of one. You can literally save 80 or more on plant purchases.
You only need proper knowledge and some seeds. If you want to start then check out my favorite Vegetable Seeds on Amazon.
Buy small seedlings at low cost
You can buy live seedlings online or from a trusted garden store especially if you are late with seeds. In fact, look out for baby seedlings instead of mature plants. Baby seedlings are healthy and more adaptable to different soil and locations. They will yield more and for a longer duration. More important thing is that baby seedlings are cheaper than mature fruit or vegetable plants.
Therefore go for baby seedlings if you don’t want to prepare your own seedling starter kit.
Save dry leaves and grass clippings for compost
If you have some trees or your neighbors have then collected as many leaves as you can in autumn. The fallen leaves are of no use for most people. So you might get it completely for free as you lend a free hand for garden cleaning.
These dry leaves or grass clippings from your lawn are useful as Mulch and also for composting. Therefore save these free natural resources and save some extra bucks in your garden.
Make your own compost
Your plants will definitely need nutrition and fertilizers. Especially vegetable plants require more nutrition so you have to feed the plants regularly. To feed the plants, you have to buy fertilizers and organic compost. Trust me these are not cheap and will require extra transport charge.
The best cost-effective alternative is to prepare your own compost and save money. Use any organic matter you find and simply dump it inside a compost bin. You should follow the general rules of sanitization and selection for composting. For example, don’t use meat waste with greens to compost, it can introduce maggots in the soil.
Check out this article for help: How to Maintain perfect Compost to soil ratio?
Prepare Homemade quality soil mix
Instead of buying you should prepare your own soil mix. This will cut a load out of your gardening budget. Commercial soil mixes are not very cheap. Especially if you are preparing for raised beds then you will need lots of soil mix.
If you prepare your own soil mix then you can save up to 50 % of the actual cost. Use any general soil mix for the vegetable garden. You can simply mix 40% garden soil with 40% compost and 20% clean sand and cocopeat for the best result in the garden. Check out this for more details- Can you use garden soil for indoor plants?
Use 5/10 gallon buckets to grow plants
I always suggest using old 5 or 10-gallon buckets as containers for plants. It can save you tons of money that you may have wanted in grow bags or planters. Plastic buckets are strong and sturdy than any planter or grow bag. They can last for years without any damage. The most important fact is that these buckets cost much less than any planters.
You can also use used plastic bags or garbage bags for annual plants, especially for veggies. These packets are nearly free to collect and can easily last for 3 to 4 months in an open area. Overall this can save lots of money in the gardening budget. Is the Shape of Pots Important for plants?
Attract pollinators to improve fruiting
Simply keep your garden clean, beautiful, and fragrant to attract small natural pollinators. Creatures like honeybees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are natural pollinators for flowers. They carry pollen grains from one flower to another and help in fruiting. They do their job free of cost. You just need to provide a favorable environment for these pollinators. And yes avoid using chemical pesticides as they can also harm pollinators.
Introduce natural predators for easy pest control
Ladybugs can help you with pest controls. Frogs, toads, lizards, and snakes are also beneficial for your garden. And yes, all of them do their job without any charge. They don’t demand anything other than favorable habitat. You can take their help to save more money on pesticides. Read for more details: 8 Beneficial Garden Animals and Pests
Adopt companion gardening to save resources
Companion gardening is the best way to save your resources in the garden. Plants that can support each other are always profitable to grow along. Suppose you plant Zucchini with corn. Then the corn will help the plant to climb up. Also, zucchini leaves will keep rodents away from baby corns. You can save money on fertilizers simply by growing legumes along with your veggies. Zucchini Companion Plants: What can I plant with Zucchini?
Make a regular schedule for Pruning and Deadheading to avoid pests
Always keep your plant clean by regular pruning and deadheading. Remove dead or spent flowers and branches to avoid pest attacks. This will reduce plant diseases and save you some extra bucks.
Help others and take help to save labor cost
If you really wanna save money then make a habit of helping others. People help will definitely favor you in your time of need. In fact, you can take help from them for heavy movements. You can also get gardening tools, grass clippings, or dead branches or leaves without any cost from them. A helping community will definitely save you some money for gardening.
Use dry leaves, twigs, and compost for Mulching
Mulching is an essential part of gardening especially if you live in cold zones. You can use several artificial or organic matter for mulching. Some of which can be bought from a garden store. I would suggest using dry leaves and twigs from trees instead of spending on commercial mulch. Overall both will do the same job but one will definitely cost more than the other. Check out: What is the Best Mulch for Raised Bed Gardens?
Look out for dead trees in your locality for low-cost mulch
If you are community-friendly then definitely you can ask for help and find someone who wants to get rid of his trees. You can help out and collect the barks, leaves, twigs, and wood chips for mulching in favor. Most probably you will get it for free in return for your help. This is a time-taking task but really worth giving a shot. A single tree or even a dead Christmas tree from fall can help you in mulching throughout spring and summer.
Buy mulch and compost from your locality in bulk
Whenever you need to buy, just buy mulch and compost in bulk. This will save you money on recuring transport charges throughout the year. Every penny is worth saving, isn’t it?
Save seeds and plant cuttings for next season plantation
Final and the most important step to save money is seed saving. You should always leave some fruits to mature at the end of every season. Let it dry in the plant and collect seeds for next year’s plantation. This can entirely wipe out your expenditure on seeds or seedlings in the following year.
If you can’t save seeds or if the plant doesn’t grow any seed then prepare to cut to grow new plants. Cuttings are very important in the propagation of many seedless and some seeded plants. Plants grown from cuttings are identical to their parents. They develop and grow faster than seedlings. They bear fruits and flowers identical to their parent plants. You can prepare 100s or even 1000s of plants from cuttings of a single parent plant. In this way, you can save money and even earn some by selling your plants in the local community.
The best garden will always have a high yield at a low cost. This is the aim of every gardener. I hope my article will help you in saving some money while gardening.
Check out this before leaving: Midnight Wine Weigela Care: Everything To Know
Please write and inform me if I missed something or if anything is wrong. Keep Reading and Keep Gardening!