10 Ideas for Gardening on a Budget

By Dave Townsend, Growing the Home Garden

Gardening is one of the those activities where an overeager gardener can really spend more money than they should. How do you keep the costs of gardening from blowing up the budget? Here are 10 ideas for gardening on a budget!

  1. Start from seeds. Seeds are cheap and depending on the seed, you can get a lot of bang for your buck. If stored properly, some seeds, like tomato and pepper, remain viable for several years.
  2. Collect seeds! Collecting seeds is a great way to save money. Collect seeds from your garden or a friend's garden. Heirloom plants are the best ones to save as they will reproduce a plant most similar to the parent plant.
  3. Swap plants with friends. Plant swaps can be a lot of fun. Just get together with some garden-minded individuals and host a plant swap, or just offer to trade with some close garden buddies.
  4. Make compost! You can never have enough compost. Collect your kitchen scraps and yard waste to put in the compost pile. Restrict your composting to vegetable matter to avoid attracting vermin.
  5. Use leaves and grass clippings as garden mulch. It may not be as attractive as a hardwood mulch, but grass clippings and leaves can do the job quite well.
  6. Use newspapers to smother weeds. Non-glossy newspapers can function as weed fabric when placed under mulch. Be sure to use several thick layers of newspapers to completely prevent weed growth.
  7. Learn how to propagate plants. Propagating plants from your own garden or from a friend's garden is a great way to increase the size of your garden. Layering, division and cuttings are the three most common ways gardeners propagate plants.
  8. Repurpose containers. If it can hold soil, it can be a container! Yogurt cups, plastic bottles and other containers can be used to start seeds or propagate plants.
  9. Use rain barrels to save on the water bill. Rain barrels can collect the water for use when the weather is uncooperative.
  10. Reuse and repurpose! Old railing from a deck or a ladder can become a trellis for growing cucumbers or beans. A rusted-out old wheelbarrow can make a great container garden. The sky really is the limit for repurposing old items in the garden.

Gardening doesn't have to break the bank!