4 Ways Gardeners Can Save

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Does your gardening ‘wish list’ have budget constraints? Boy, you aren’t alone! I could spend a ton of money in gardening catalogs and nurseries if I had no restraint!

There are ways you save some money when gardening. It doesn’t have to be a budget-breaker.

You Can Make Your Own Garden Compost

I’ve done it. I’ve bought those big bags of compost. Sometimes I’d lift them into a cart when there were no flatbeds around. In one ‘farm’ store I walked around forever before I found someone to ask ‘WHERE’ is the bagged compost only to discover you had to drive around for it… (Wasted time there…) Once you take that ‘store-bought’ compost to your garden you’ll be dismayed at how far (or NOT) that bag didn’t go. The solution? Make your own compost at home.

That garden gold doesn’t have to come from the store, or a fancy dancy composter. You can made a compost pile in your own backyard. Use those potato peels, the melon rinds, the egg shells, the lawn clippings in the compost. Keep it moist, turn it every now and then to let air in and let nature handle turning that into compost for you.

For more details on creating your own high-quality compost at home, check out my post on making garden gold. and my post on compost happens.

compost
compost

Grow New Plants from Cuttings

I once drove quite a ways to purchase a particular plant I wanted for a particular spot. I’d researched, and designed… … … and had the perfect plant in mind. I couldn’t find it locally but found that a nursery some miles away had some. Once I got there, I realized that this nursery was probably intended for ‘someone besides me’ because all the prices were high! HIGH. I found the plant I wanted but couldn’t make myself fork over the high dollar they wanted. (It was somewhere around $40 at the time.) Dismayed I left without buying anything.

However, if there’s a plant that you really want and are envious of you can ask the homeowner/gardener/friend for a cutting. Most people will be glad to give you a cutting.

Did you know that you can grow some veggies from cuttings? You can take a cutting from a TOMATO plant and start your own! Some folks will dip their cutting in rooting hormone but it usually isn’t necessary. Peppers too! You can regrow Romaine!

I’ve done this many times with houseplants as well. I have a large ficus in the atrium. Once it started to touch the skylight I start taking cuttings and rooting them, then I gift the giant tree and basically start over.

tomato plant
tomato plant

Grow from Seeds

Some seeds are pricey. Some fancy seed catalogs have fancy prices and once you start adding to your order it can really add up. You can find bargain priced seeds at farm stores, and even dollar stores. You can also SAVE YOUR OWN!

Did you buy a melon at the store that was the best you’ve ever had? Save that seed to grow your own! You can save seeds from tomatoes, peppers, cukes, squash… and many more. If you get hooked you’ll save seed from everything!!!

melon
melon

While hybrid seeds will grow you might not see the results you expect. The new plants sometimes revert to an older generation. For consistent results try some heirloom seeds..

Seed Sharing
Some place share seeds and other times you might find a seed swap. Often times you can find these on Facebook and even some libraries have seed swaps!
They work like a book swap. You bring something and you leave with something else. Everyone wins. You can share your best seeds from the past year, and discover something new.

Saving money getting the garden started is just the tip of the iceberg (lettuce). Once the garden gets growing you’ll (hopefully) have all the veggies you can eat. If you’re lucky you’ll have enough to share with friends and neighbors (and the local homeless shelter or food bank) and plenty to put up by canning, freezing and dehydrating.

You grow for it!
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