Gardening can be expensive – it’s easy to drop hundreds of dollars at the nursery or garden center without filling all your flowerbeds and vegetable patches! Here’s where you can save money, and where you should splurge.
Plant what your family will eat
No sense growing radishes and turnip if your kids will simply turn up their noses, right? Instead, plan your garden around what you know your family will happily devour. And take your space into consideration, too: crowding too many plants together makes them more prone to disease.
Start early and start from seed
If you’re willing to put in the effort and the time, buying seeds instead of seedling plants will save you lots of money.
Keep those citrus seeds!
Before you toss your orange, lime, grapefruit and lemon rinds into your compost bin, be sure to save the plumpest seeds. They may not produce any fruit, but they do make lovely houseplants – just plant them in a pot and give them plenty of sunshine. In two weeks, you’ll see sprouts pop up – a free plant!
Don’t buy compost; make it yourself
Adding compost to your garden enriches the soil, but hauling 30 bags of it is a pain for your back and your wallet. Instead, invest in two compost bins and make your own.
Don’t skimp on garden tools
Your spades, shovels, rakes and edgers do all the heavy lifting in the yard, so this is not a place to cut corners in your gardening budget. Properly maintained, quality tools can last for many years, and make garden chores a breeze. Make sure you have the right tools for all your backyard jobs!
Forget harmful pesticides
Expensive chemicals are bad for the environment, bad for pets and will quickly use up your budget, too. Control pests naturally with items you already have in your kitchen, such as salt to kill slugs, eggshells to deter caterpillars and beer to get rid of earwigs.
Make your own bird treats
Next time you visit your local butcher, ask for some fat. It costs pennies, and is often free. Get the children to stick some seeds into it, and then freeze it overnight before hanging it in a wire feeder. The birds will flock to your garden!
Use leftover materials in the garden
Chicken wire can be used to make a handy veggie-carrying basket. Rocks you’ve pulled out of the soil when making a new flowerbed are perfect for creating plant markers. You can paint them or just use a marker to identify flowers, herbs or produce.
Make cleanup a breeze
Take a large, old terra-cotta plant and fill it with sand and about 20 ounces of mineral oil. You can store smaller hand tools blade-down in there, which will keep your tools sharp and lubricated at the same time!
Stones as plant markers
Courtesy: Nikki Mans Whimsy-Girl