gardening on a budget

Spring is here! And we’ve even got the nice weather to prove it! Gardening is a big passion of mine. I’ve got flower beds and containers all over the place. My job at a local golf course even has me working on flower beds 8 hours a day! Since we don’t have a house to call our own yet, my Mom lets me help her plant and weed their vegetable garden in return for some delicious veggies.

Here are some tips for gardening on a budget that I’ve learned over the years:

  • Grow a container garden. I like to grow tomatoes and herbs in containers. Also, planting a group of containers with annuals creates a great effect!
  • Use perennials. These are more expensive initially, but you do not have to replace them every year, thus saving money in the long run. I started to do this with my flower gardens a couple of years ago. I need to buy a couple more plants to fill it in, but in the mean time I will add some annuals for color.
  • Start your own plants with seeds.  Save a bunch by buying a pack of seeds rather than small plants. My mom only uses seeds to plant her carrots, green beans…etc.
  • Before filling a large container full of dirt, add a plastic shopping bag full of foam packing material to the bottom. You will need less dirt, provides a great draining system, and the container will be easier to lift! We do this at the golf course where I work. In my containers at home, I use either rocks (for the really small containers) or the plastic containers that my annuals come in.
  • Put up a pin wheel or two in your strawberries to keep the birds and chipmunks at bay. You can find inexpensive ones at  your local dollar store.
  • Make your own compost. A great free way to nourish your plants. Here’s a great link showing you how to make your own compost bin: DIY Compost Bin
  • Utilize the weather. If I know it’s going to rain, I pull out my flower containers that are covered so that the rain will water them for me!
  • Ask neighbors for a part of their perennial. Since most perennials spread, I’m sure a neighbor won’t mind digging up a portion of their plant. My mom has received numerous plants this way. I’ve also received some from the golf course that were just going to be thrown out!
  • Use the library. If I’m needing any information on plants or I want to look at a specific book, I hop on over to my local library!
  • Start small. Use only containers or use the square foot gardening method.

What are some of the ways you save money while gardening?