Right now inexpensive and easy makes me happy. Saving nickels and dimes is a personal challenge these days (granted some things are worth investing in). Fortunately, gardening offers many savings, including the opportunity to feed your family and save on the (ever-increasing) grocery bill. Here are my top 6 ideas to help make your flower or vegetable gardening easy and inexpensive.
- TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE Funeral Section – My favorite section of the garden department is what I call the funeral section. Head straight to the back of most garden departments and at some point you’ll run across the death row of flowers. These are the plants that just don’t cut the mustard for display quality, and are marked down in price then quietly tucked away. I have bought flowers, shrubs, and bushes from this section for years. I honestly don’t remember losing a single plant along the way. A few years ago I rescued a brittle, brown stick in a bright purple container labeled Butterfly Bush. I had my doubts — it looked beyond CPR. I brought it home, scouted a good spot, and dropped it in the ground, fully anticipating a replacement in the near future. The scrawny-looking bush began flourishing and now stands 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide, with regular pruning. It was a two-dollar risk that was definitely worth it.
- USE Pallets – Pallets are one of the most versatile collections of wood you will encounter. They can be used as support for climbing plants (like cucumbers) and are the perfect size for garden gates and entryways. Most recently my husband used pallets to make a secure border for my wimpy greenhouse. See it here: https://youtu.be/PCU1U7-73NY. Many companies have products frequently shipped with pallet bases and are willing to give these away or sell for very little.
- Salvage Seeds FOR NEXT YEAR – Once you get a start in gardening, be sure to save the seeds for replanting the following year. Initially, I invested in a few packs of Marigold seeds and salvaged the many, many seeds after they died out. It didn’t take long for me to end up with ten sandwich bags full of seeds. I haven’t ever spent another penny on these since. Do this for fruits, vegetables, and flowers, as well.
- Keep Versatile plants in mind – Speaking of Marigolds (I have a soft spot for these flowers. You can read about it in my garden article Gardening – Learning From My Trials and Errors). Not only do these plants look amazing, but they have many benefits. Planting them around your garden helps attract pollinators, repel garden pests, and I have yet to see the ever-present deer eat them. Plus, we have already discussed how inexpensive they are to grow.
- THE Power of the Perennials – There are some annuals I am just not willing to give up (here’s to you my beautiful shade-loving Impatiens) but otherwise, I commit to as many perennials as I can. Not only does this save money in the long run, but you are investing less time and energy in maintaining them.
- Plant Share WITH FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS– Swapping plants with friends and neighbors can be fun while taking a pleasant step back in time. Not only are you getting new plants, but you are getting firsthand information on caring for the plant from the giver who has obviously been successful in growing it. Set aside some bulbs or those extra marigold seeds and suggest a swap with friends or neighbors.
Make gardening even better with these 6 inexpensive and easy ideas.