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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Wenzel

The Ultimate Guide to Budget Gardening & How to Have a Beautiful Garden on a Low Budget -10 Tips!

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

If you're an avid gardener, you probably already know how easy it is to rack up the bill at the local nursery every spring. If you're a newer gardener, you might wonder how to save money with a garden. Seed starter packs, weed barriers, and essential tools can add to your spring budget. With these simple tips below, you'll be sure to set a budget that you can stick to... or maybe have more money for another plant. You decide!

1. Use eggshells, toilet paper rolls, or egg cartons (non-Styrofoam) as seed starters. While seed starters are not too expensive, free is 100% better and compostable!

2. Speaking of compost, start one today if you haven't already! Your plants need food to grow, but you'll never pay for it if you begin saving food scraps!

3. Plant Perennial plants! Perennial plants will grow back year after year to pay for themselves fast. These plants go dormant in the colder months and start to come back in the spring. Some plants will also drop seeds, and they, too, will sprout in the spring. When picking a perennial plant for your garden, always check that it is appropriate for your growing zone, or it will likely die in the frigid winter. Some winter-hardy favorite perennial plants include:

  • Asparagus

  • Rhubarb

  • Chives

  • Walking Onions

  • Raspberry bushes

  • Blueberry bushes

  • Sunchokes

  • Grapes

  • Hardy kiwi vines

  • Elderberry bushes

  • Aronia bushes

  • Any tree that produces fruit or nuts!

4. Harvesting your rainwater is a very passive way to save money. Water bills can climb during the hottest months of the year when watering is needed most. A rain barrel won't take long to pay for itself and is pretty simple to install. Sometimes you can find barrels for free. Reach out to an online community, and you might find someone looking to unload a barrel, possibly for free. For little money, you can buy a kit and turn your barrel into a rain-collecting system. At the time of this writing, they are going for around $50. Also, check with your local city ordinance to ensure your setup complies.

5. Save seeds and ask other gardeners for extra seeds that they might have. Start a seed exchange with friends or reach out to others in local buy-sell-trade groups to see if anyone can get you some acorn squash or whatever seeds you might be seeking. Gardeners are usually amicable and can't wait to discuss their plants with you. They might even have something to "split" for you as well. Maybe their rhubarb patch is getting too big, and they offer you some. Or they might have some raspberry canes sprouting in the spring. Chances are, they'll talk your ear off and send you off with all kinds of things to plant. Just ask. Springtime is the best season to make it happen!

6. Pest control is critical if you don't want some animal stealing your precious harvest. Install a cheap deer fence and wrap fruit trees or vines with netting to prevent animals from having a midnight snack on your peaches. You can also use hair clippings or clean out your pets' brushes in the garden to deter animals.

7. Don't let weeds choke out your plants. Weeding can be highly time-consuming, but you'll have less work using weed barriers. You can create natural weed barriers using cardboard or several layers of newspaper. Use small tent stakes to hold down your barriers.

8. Use old sheets and towels to defend against early spring frost damage. You can even repurpose buckets, kids hard sided swimming pools, and in a pinch, even a wheelbarrow to cover a plant before nightfall. Please do not allow plastic material to come in direct contact with the plants because they will only intensify the elements against the plant's favor.

9. Consider using permaculture techniques in your garden. This gardening style works with nature rather than against it to save money, time, and other precious resources like water.

10. Start with simple tools. A shovel, hand shovel, and a set of gardening gloves are all you need to begin your gardening journey. Starting small is best, so you only buy the necessary tools. If you know someone with a tiller, you might ask to borrow it. Just be sure to offer something in return, fill it up with gas and return it quickly.

Did I miss anything? How do you like to save money with your garden? Please comment below and share your money-saving tips for gardening with others. If you liked this post, please show us some love by clicking the heart. Thanks for reading!


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