Everyone knows that gardening is expensive, especially when you’re just getting started with it. You need all kinds of supplies to keep things going and also tend to go through a lot of them as time goes by. Fortunately, there are lots of ways that you can save money while still keeping your garden looking great.
The biggest challenge most people have when they first start their own garden is coming up with enough money to buy the supplies they need. Even if you’re willing — or able — to spend a lot on plants and soil, there are all kinds of other expenses that you might not have been expecting.
Things like gardening tools, pots for your plants, stakes for tomatoes, labels for those same tomatoes…the list goes on and on. Even if you can get some of these things secondhand or borrow them from friends and family, that still leaves you with the question of how much do I need to set aside to make sure I have everything I need?
Go shopping at the end of the season
Gardening tools and supplies are at their cheapest — and most available — at the end of each growing season. You can save a ton of money by waiting until the end of the gardening season before you go shopping for anything you’d normally avoid or put off because it’s too expensive.
Certain tools and supplies, like gloves, trowels and hoes, are very specific to the type of gardening you do. If you wait until around November time, you can stock up on everything you need at once. You’re also less likely to get caught in the rush of people buying all their gardening supplies as soon as Spring arrives.
There’s also a chance that some of your favourite gardening stores might have sales or offer some other kind of incentive to shift stock that’s been sitting around for a while as interest has dwindled.
Make your own Fertiliser
Fertiliser is one of the most expensive parts of gardening, especially if you’re growing your own food. There are lots of homemade fertiliser recipes out there that you can use to feed your plants and save yourself a lot of money.
You may even have some of the ingredients you need growing in your own garden already. If you do, then you can make use of them to save even more money. If you don’t have the right ingredients, you can still find the money you’ll need to make fertiliser by growing and saving your own kitchen scraps.
Think! Before You Buy
Most gardening supplies and tools are reusable or have multiple uses. For example, a rake can be used for more than just raking leaves. It can also be used for tilling the soil or, with the assistance of a homemade rake head, harvesting your plants. If you find yourself buying lots of supplies, stop and think about what you already have and what you could use instead.
It’s also a good idea to go through your things at the end of each season and do a bit of spring cleaning. You can save money by getting rid of any tools and supplies that are broken or worn out. You may even find a way to put them to use again.
For example, if your trowel has a cracked handle, you can replace it with another one. Or, you can use a bit of twine to repair it.
Be Smart With Water
While we’re on the subject of saving money, we should also talk about water. You can’t just pour water on your plants whenever you feel like it. There are certain times when you should water your plants and times when you shouldn’t.
You can also use certain methods to make sure your plants get the water they need without you having to do it all the time. For example, you can set up a drip watering system that waters your plants for you. Another way to save money on water is to collect rainwater.
You can use rainwater for any plants that you have outdoors. This can be especially helpful if you have a large garden.
Get creative with re-use and recycle materials
This is a great way to save money in your garden and in your home in general. You can use broken pots and other materials to create things like planters, garden markers and more. You can also use materials that you might otherwise throw away. For example, you can use egg cartons to grow seedlings.
Or, you can use old newspapers to cover the ground in your garden. You can even get creative with the types of containers you use to plant your plants in. Plastic containers and bottles are recyclable and can be used again. Just make sure you clean them thoroughly so that your plants don’t get sick. You can also use old containers from things like oats or dry beans. You can even use old food containers like yoghurt cups and plastic bottles.
Buy used tools and supplies
Another way to save money on your garden is to shop for used tools and supplies. You can find these at garage sales, online marketplaces like Craigslist/Gumtree and even online trading sites like eBay. If you can find these items in good enough condition, they’ll work just fine. You may even be able to use them for multiple gardening seasons.
We’ve all heard the saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” This is especially true when it comes to gardening supplies. If you’re careful, you can find a lot of great, used gardening tools and supplies that are just as useful as new ones. You can save even more money if you repaint them before using them.
Use recycled materials to create planters and raised garden beds.
Items like old tires, pallets, and even plastic storage bins can be repurposed into functional and attractive planting containers.
These items are often discarded by people without considering other uses for them, which makes them an excellent candidates for repurposing. You can save money by using these items to grow your own food, and they can be customized to fit your needs or aesthetic. Pallets, for example, can be stained or painted to match your house, and plastic bins can be cut or painted to create the desired look.
Grow your seedlings from scratch.
Rather than buying plants or seeds every year, save money by starting your own from last year’s crop. This is a great way to get a jump start on the growing season and ensure that you have the plants you want.
You can also try different varieties to see which ones grow best in your garden. Growing your own plants from seed is a great way to save money while providing fresh produce for your garden. It also gives you the opportunity to try new varieties, so you won’t get bored with your garden. Another advantage of growing your own plants from seed is that you can start the process much earlier in the year than if you were buying plants.
Not only does this give you more time to grow your plants, but it also provides you with a supply of fresh produce during the cold months, when fresh produce is hard to come by.
Take advantage of natural resources.
If you live near a body of water, use it to water your garden for free. Collect rainwater in barrels to use for watering during dry spells. And, make use of the sun’s free energy by planting in areas that receive full sun.
When planting in soil, enrich it with compost or other nutrients to ensure healthy soil that can keep producing without extra inputs. Grow plants that have beneficial properties like repelling pests or attracting pollinators.
When you can, grow in containers to make it easier to move your plants to a safer location if threatened by pests. By making the most of your environment, you can have a backyard that is a source of food and beauty, instead of a constant expense.
Use mulch to conserve moisture and suppress weeds.
A layer of mulch (organic material like leaves, straw, or wood chips) around your plants will help to keep the soil moist and prevent weeds from taking over.
To achieve the best results, make sure to spread the mulch a few inches thick. Additionally, you can add a layer of fabric underneath the mulch to prevent weeds from growing up through it. You can find fabric at most home improvement stores, and it’s often used for landscaping purposes.
Gardening can be an incredibly rewarding hobby, but it can also be expensive. But the good news, there are lots of ways to save money while gardening. You can shop for gardening supplies and tools used, make your own fertilizer, be smart with water, use reuse materials, and buy used gardening supplies. Using these tips will help you save money so you can focus on enjoying your new gardening hobby.