10 surefire tips for gardening on a budget

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You can garden for less, that’s one thing for certain and these tips will show you how to have an outstanding outdoor area for less.


1.    Grow From Seeds, Not Seedlings

A bunch of six lettuce seedlings costs between $3 and $6, yet a packet of 500 lettuce seeds is $3; you do the math. Understandably, starting with the seeds in flats indoors can be a bit of work. But you have to get sowing early enough before the growing season. But it will not take time compared to planting seedlings. The same also applies to planting in your garden plot.


2.    Go To A Seed Swap

The experience of having to go about as you shop for seeds can be fulfilling, especially if you get some bargains. However, attending a seed swap is an entirely different experience. It is a party where different people show up with seed they have saved and swap them for others they do not have. It, nonetheless, will be a worthwhile option if you managed to save a few seeds. It will not cost you a thing. It can be a good idea to try to get chrysanthemum seeds, as chrysanthemums, which bloom prolifically in the late summer and fall, so you get so much color from them.


3.    Take Cuttings

Having seeds for the vegetables is all fine and dandy; but what will you do for individual plants such as dogwood trees or blueberries? Some plants are hard to grow from seeds, and some are genetic clones, meaning they are propagated asexually. In such cases, you can grow some plants, such as vines and shrubs from cuttings. So, you can check around your neighborhood for the desired plants and ask from your neighbors if you can cut a few small sticks from them and prep them for planting. You will pot the cutting in moist perlite, give them a few weeks to months so that they can develop roots and leaves, meaning they are ready for transplanting.


4.    Repurpose And Upcycle

Getting seedlings is costly enough, and when you add the pavers, planters, and arbors as well as other hardscape materials, the budget for your gardening can shoot up to the four-figure range. If you are on a tight budget, then you can get creative by trying to upcycle or repurpose some things. What your neighbor who has is not gardening calls junk may be a treasure-trove of options.


Conversely, you can look around your home to find things that you can repurpose. For instance, you can turn that old bathtub or wooden box into planters. You can repurpose an old satellite dish into an arbor. And if you are thinking of add some flagstones in your garden but do not have the money for them, then consider using broken concrete. You, nevertheless need to take some time and give some thought into it so that you do not end up have a garden full of junk when trying to upcycle and repurpose things.


5.    Forage For Your Gardening Supplies

Embrace the blessing that nature presents to you, and you will see how it helps you make the most of every dollar you invest in your gardening. For instance, you can have bamboo poles in the plot and use them for options such as oriental fences and arbors or stakes for your tomatoes. The poles may cost you around a dollar to ten dollars per pole depend on the size. You may not have to spend a single cent if you can manage to get a few bamboos for your folks or neighbors who have a yard full of bamboo. In short, try and find some cost-free, locally harvestable alternatives before you cough up any money.


6.    DIY Design

A professionally designed garden can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. That is price because you are paying for expert inputs from individuals with years of experience. However, you do not need to spend that much if you exercise a bit of your creativity. Do some research by going online or visiting the local library to get resources that touch on garden designs. You also get to learn of the favorable conditions for certain plants, and how to add things such as waterfalls, fences, and make raised beds among other design elements. Once your mind is brimming with ideas, you can put some of what you are thinking on paper. Take a few months to a year as you make observations through the seasons so that you can visualize how applicable your garden designs will be before implementation.


7.    Make Your Own Soil Amendments

Having to purchase compost and organic fertilizers can be a costly affair. If you take the time to think of what is in those products, you will discover that it is mostly animal by-products mixed with organic matter. You will note that they comprise of things such as bone meal, bat guano, feather meal, and cocoa husks, shredded barks, and a host of other things. So, if you have some few chickens, rabbits, or livestock, you have a source of manure. And then you can take the grass clippings, wood shavings, and other plant waste and mix them with the manure to make rich black compost. To add some extra nutrients to the compost, you can throw in some crushed eggshells and seaweed.


8.    Consider Free Compost And Mulch

You can get loads of mulch from tree-cutting contractors that often have piles of these stuff on hand, and can give it away for free. Some municipalities will offer to take the mulch of their hands and turn it into compost they will then give to the landfill or sell at a small price. And while they may be useful, these freebies may not always be the best quality. They may be made from or contain seeds of some invasive plant species.


9.    Become A “Free List” Expert

If you are on a budget, then you need to consider options that will see you get free stuff. For instance, you can check online on the ‘free stuff’ section on Craigslist for things such as planters, pots, and even compost and mulch. You can also check out other classified services for free stuff you can use for your garden. Alternatively, you can visit flea markets and yard sales to see what you can find, such as gardening tools, that you can buy at a fraction of their price in the stores.


10.    Grow Organic

Going at it using an all-natural approach has its monetary value and benefits. For example, eliminating the use of chemical pesticides means you cut costs while also protecting our precious vegetables and plants. Conversely, attracting predatorial insects that will eat the bad bugs will mean you have a free protective measure in your garden. In the same spirit or going organic, you can opt not to use herbicides and get handsy when dealing with the pesky weeds.


You also can do some bit of natural mulching by allowing a few goats to have their full of unwanted, heavy vegetations such as thorny briars, poison ivy or kudzu that may have invaded your garden. As for composting, you can use cover crops that will help return certain lost nutrients to the soil. All these are organic and inexpensive ways of ensuring you have a garden is beautiful and health.

The post 10 surefire tips for gardening on a budget appeared first on MoneyMagpie.

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