Gardening can be an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little creativity and resourcefulness, you can enjoy a beautiful garden without breaking the bank.
In this post, we’ll share some tips and tricks for gardening on a budget.
I’ve been gardening as a hobby for 20+ years in New England and my experience is growing a garden in cooler growing zones (5b/6a). I’ve accumulated lots of good gardening ideas over the years and I love sharing them with new gardeners!
Welcome to the third Fabulous Friday Link Party Blog Hop. The Fabulous Friday Link Party is where bloggers share their best home-related blog posts every Friday. Quarterly, the Link Party hosts each invite a talented blogger who links up regularly to join us in a special Blog Hop. This is just one stop of twelve for our Spring Garden Blog Hop. The six Fabulous Friday hosts and our guest bloggers are sharing awesome Garden Inspiration and How-Tos. Follow along for wonderful gardening-related ideas. All the links to the Hosts and their Featured Blogger Friends are at the end of this blog post.
Budget-Friendly Gardening Tips
Start From Seeds
One of the easiest ways to save money on gardening is to start your plants from seeds.
Seeds are so much cheaper than buying mature plants from a nursery or garden center.
You can find a variety of seeds at your local home improvement store, garden center, or online.
Not only will buying seeds be more budget-friendly you will have access to a wider variety of seeds to choose from.
You don’t even have to start them indoors in most cases. You can direct sow flower seeds right in your garden. But for a headstart in cooler climates, you will want to start them indoors.
Another plus is that by starting your own seeds, you can ensure that the plants you grow are free of any pesticides or chemicals.
I’ve started my entire cottage garden by seed with almost all being directly sown in my garden.
Seed Starting Tips
Learn how to start seeds indoors.
Making your own compost is a great way to make your own nutrient-rich soil without spending money on store-bought bags of compost.
You can start your own compost pile by collecting a mix of “green” (fruit/veggie scraps, coffee grounds, fresh grass clippings, plant trimmings) and “brown” (dry leaves &small sticks) materials.”
Start a pile away from your house and make a thick layer of the brown materials, then layer green on top and just alternate.
Turning the pile every few weeks will help it all decompose quicker. Keeping the pile moist will speed things up as well. (I don’t water our pile but it is under a canopy of tall pines and tends to stay damp).
It takes about a year for the compost to be usable, it will look dark and earthy when it’s ready.
We compost our mulched leaves and grass clippings throughout the year…we have sooo many maple leaves every Fall!
Keep Your Eye Out For Used Tools & Supplies
You don’t need to buy new tools and supplies every time you garden. Check out Facebook Marketplace or your local Facebook online yard sale pages.
Look for your local Buy Nothing community too. My local group has a Facebook page and I am seeing all kinds of garden-related supplies and plants on there.
Don’t forget to check out yard sales, flea markets, and thrift stores for used gardening tools, pots, and other supplies.
I scored the coolest garden caddy at a flea market last year for I think $10! (He threw the antique books about antiquing in for free!!)
Mulch is an excellent way to keep your garden healthy and looking great while also saving you money.
Mulch helps to retain moisture in the soil, reduce weed growth, and regulate soil temperature.
So it will save you money on your water bill.
You can use a variety of materials for mulch, such as leaves, grass clippings, straw, or wood chips.
In my vegetable garden, I used grass clippings to mulch the entire area and around the plants growing in the ground.
Tips for getting started.
Perennials are plants that come back year after year, making them a great investment for your garden.
While perennials may be more expensive than annuals at the outset, they will save you money in the long run by not having to replant them every year.
Plus, they often require less water and maintenance than annuals.
Another benefit is that after a few seasons, you can divide your perennial plants and double your garden!!
I just divided and moved about half of my perennial garden this week! I filled in all the holes in the borders without spending a dime…just a few Motrin for the aches!
Also, one thing that I always do is to check the markdown rack at the home improvement stores and Walmart. Sometimes they just need a little TLC or their flowers have gone by and they are dying back.
Last year I found 2 sad looking gallon-sized roses at Walmart for just a few bucks each…I knew that I could save them!!
Share & Swap Plants
If you have friends or family members who are also gardeners, consider sharing or swapping plants with them.
This is a great way to get new plants for your garden without spending any money.
Definitely check out local plant swaps or plant exchange groups online. Lots of garden clubs do plant sales in the Spring where members share plants that they have divided.
Speaking for my own garden club, the members all have amazing gardens so you can score some great varieties to get your garden growing.
Also, check out Facebook and look for gardening groups in your area. Not only can you find out more about what is working or issues other gardeners are having in your state or area but people post when they have extra cutting available (at least in the NH garden groups I am in).
Make It Instead Of Buying It
I swoon over all those pretty garden trellises and supports at the nursery…but they can be so expensive!!
So what is a girl with a big garden to do? I just make my own. I am by no means a master carpenter but I can use power tools and I have DIY’d a few garden projects.
Here are 3 projects that you can make for your garden this year.
Finally, one of the best ways to save money on gardening is to plan ahead.
Make a list of the plants and supplies you need before you go shopping, and stick to it.
This will help you avoid impulse purchases that can quickly add up. If you are like me then you want every plant you lay your eyes on when you walk into a nursery!!
Additionally, consider buying end-of-season plants or supplies at a discount for the following year.
I always look through the leftover perennials to see if there is anything that I like at the end of the Summer.
Same with my gardening supplies, when they start getting marked down I grab anything that I can use the next year.
Another great resource for finding plants and flowers is to check out your local farmstands or farmer’s markets. Not only are you helping to support a small local business the plants should be perfect for the climate you are in since they were grown locally.
I’m so lucky that I have the best farm around the corner from me and she grows the most spectacular vegetable and herb plants! They are cheaper than the home improvement stores too.
Gardening on a budget is possible with a little creativity and planning. By starting from seeds, making compost, using mulch, buying used tools and supplies, choosing perennials, sharing and swapping plants, and planning ahead, you can enjoy a beautiful garden without spending a lot of money (0r at least try to!!)
Shop my gardening favorites! Raised beds, plant supports, & tools to make your garden grow.