Frugal Gardening – Save money on your gardening needs

Here in the United States gardening season has begun for the lucky. Other’s still have snow on their gardens but are preparing for the garden by planning and purchasing what they need. What ever stage you are in you can still save money on your gardening needs. In Greenwich, there are many gravelled walks.
Creative Commons License photo credit: Nadya Peek

My philosophy is if you save a little money in one area of gardening you can apply it to another area. For me that’s usually new trees and shrubs.

Here are a few suggestions to cut down on gardening costs

  • Find the gardening tools you need at garage sales, flea markets or auction houses. At the auction houses I usually can pick up twenty tools at a time for $1. I use what I can, fix the rest and sell them at a sale. The handles make great stakes too, if the tool top is not usable.
  • Buy year old seeds. Most will still germinate, but may germinate slower. To make up for this I will soak them in water before I plant them.
  • Start more of your seedlings. Purchasing transplants is convenient but adds up quickly. I but my soil mixes at the end of the last planting season to save money on packaged soil. I also add compost to make my mixes go further.
  • Use old pots to start plants in. Just make sure they are very clean. I clean with soapy hot water then scrub with white vinegar to kill any germs.
  • Old pots or containers can be collected for free at nurseries, many garage sales, curbs and dumpsters. They can be picked up for pennies at sales and auctions.
  • You can use toilet paper rolls, cups and old cake pans to start plants in. I also make newspaper planting pots for many of my plants
  • Sell your extra plants or trade your transplants for other plants. I do very well using this approach. Have  a garage sale and offer your extra plants up for sale. You could even plan a plant swap among friends.
  • Buy your transplants at a wholesale greenhouse. Just make sure the quality is good. You usually have to purchase a few flats to get a food price. You can usually mix plant varieties.
  • Make you own garden markers and stakes.
  • Make you own fertilizer mixes and pest control sprays. Besides saving you money they can be made with environmentally friendly materials not heavy chemicals that are harsh to birds, butterflies and the water.
  • Buy any supplies you need at the end of your gardening season. They are often more than 50 percent off retail price.

These are only a few suggestions. If you have a great money saving ideas for gardening share it! Happy gardening, Denise

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