Gardening on a Budget
10 Low Cost Gardening Tips
By Kathy Wilson
Gardening can be an expensive hobby, but it didn't start out that
way. Back in our Grandparents time, people enjoyed beautiful gardens
even without a Home Depot on the corner. Here are some frugal
gardening tips for those of us who want to save some "green".
*Soil is the key to a wonderful garden, so boost your soil whenever
possible. Low cost ways? Create a compost pile, and add all your
organic kitchen waste to it. Using a blender, blend up leftover
organic scraps from the kitchen at the end of the day, and add it
directly to the soil around heavy feeders, such as roses. Look for
free material to add to your compost bin. Neighbors would love to
donate bags of leaves in the fall instead of hauling them to the
curb, and my neighbor knows he can dump the rabbit manure from his
hobby right in my compost pile.
*Grow plants from seed. You don't need a greenhouse to do this. If
you are patient, you can plant perennial flower seeds in flats
outdoors once the weather warms up, and nurse them into full size
plants for fall planting. Not seeding them in late winter means no
flowers till next year, but you will also have a much higher success
rate with your seeds.
*Grow plants that seed themselves. Some of my favorite plants are
only annuals, meaning they die when frost hits, but you never have to
replant! This is because they drop many viable seeds during the
growing season, called self-seeding or self-sowing. The dropped seeds
germinate in spring for a full garden of flowers. Great plants you
only have to seed once? Cosmos, sunflowers, alyssum, poppies, lambs
ear, black eyed susans and yarrow.
*Use unusual containers for your container gardens, instead of
spending big bucks on planters from the home improvement store.
Anything that can hold soil can become a planter. An old cracked
chimera, a rusted wheelbarrow, or a pretty basket lined with plastic.
*Line your planters with newspaper before you add soil. It helps
retain water and keep the soil temperature more constant, keeping the
plants healthier and saving water. (And watering time!)
*When you rototill or dig up soil for a new garden bed or project,
save all the rocks you find along the way in a pile. Later they can
be used as edging. The smaller ones can be used is mosaic projects as
*Order roses and other shrubs online in late winter to get a great
bare root discount. If you watch the catalog sites such as Jackson
and Perkins or Bluestone Perennials, you will often find web specials
or huge discounts for multiple purchases. I once bought 6 gorgeous
English roses for less than $30. That's $5 a piece for top of the
line roses you can't even get at the home improvement store!
*Use old pantyhose as tiebacks for your climbing plants. Cut them
into strips and use to tie them to their supports. The hose is soft
as to not damage the plant, and quickly disappears into the foliage.
*Visit building areas and ask if they have a scrap pile you can have
lumber from. Scrap wood can yield many projects in the garden, from
birdhouses to garden fencing. Always remember to ask permission first.
*In late summer purchase gallon size pots of flowers at a huge
discount, but pick the ones you can divide. Many plants can be
divided into several smaller plants, planted in the fall and will
give you three or four full size plants (or more) for the one you
paid for. And you got a discount at that for buying at the right
time! Easy plants to divide? Lambs ear, daylilies, groundcovers,
ornamental grasses, dianthus, bluebells, coreopsis, coneflower and
Easy ways to save big money while gardening!
Want free gardening tips and ideas? Kathy Wilson is a home and garden
writer, author and consultant and is the home decorating expert for
LifetimeTV.com. Visit her for more home and garden ideas at
Also visit her at http://www.Women-on-the-Net.com
where any woman can
learn to make money on the internet!