It’s officially gardening season! Time to open the toolshed and throw on the gloves. If you’re a first-time gardener or just don’t want to break the bank to get organic vegetables on your plate, we have a few tips for you to garden on a budget and maximize your plants and your savings. Can you dig it? (Pun intended—sorry, we couldn’t resist.)
Plant the seed—literally. Seeds cost considerably less than seedlings and/or plants, and with some tender loving care they can be just as prolific. For extra savings, start them in homemade containers like old buckets, gallon milk jugs or egg cartons. When they’re ready, you can transfer them to the ground. At the end of the season, save all your seeds from the garden to kick-start your planting next year for even more savings!
Seal the deal. Do a little homework and see if there are any sales around town that might feature discount-priced plants. The local newspaper is always a solid place to start, along with asking your friends and neighbors (especially if they have green thumbs!). Many community centers and co-ops will often sponsor similar sales themselves or be able to point you in the right direction.
Second (-rate) is the best. When it comes to efficiency, a great way to save extra money is by planting with used gardening tools. New tools can be expensive, and at the end of the day a shovel is a shovel, amiright? Try borrowing old tools from a friend or check out any garage sales and thrift stores. Oftentimes second-hand gardening supplies will be set out at this time of year, and you could end up saving hundreds of dollars.
Compost the most. Making your own compost is far less expensive than buying new fertilized soil each year from an overpriced store. To make your own compost, start with scraps from your garden, as well as any fruit and vegetable leftovers from the kitchen. Additionally, used coffee grounds make for excellent compost. Throw in some grass clippings and dead leaves and you’ve started a beautiful homemade compost to feed your new garden. A little gathering of scraps can make for big savings.
There you have it, savvy savers. Try those tips to start your own garden on a budget and you’ll be surprised how much you can save year over year. You’ll be telling friends about your new garden and big savings in no time.