Inexpensive Tips for a Successful New Garden

The following is a post from staff writer Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, where she writes about finding the balance between paying your bills, saving for your future, and budgeting in the fun stuff along the way.

Spring is in the air and creating a garden is an activity that the whole family can enjoy. It’s a healthy activity and doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor at all. Here are a few tips to create an inexpensive garden.

Gardening Tip #1 – Shop Online for Plants

Shopping for gardening supplies is no different than shopping for anything else. The best deals can often be found online. You can buy your seeds and plants from online websites like Amazon or Ebay. Online retailers and auction sites have some of the lowest prices on seeds, bulbs, and plants and you are usually protected in case the plants don’t arrive in the promised condition.

Gardening Tip #2 – Visit Thrift Stores for Gardening Tools

The most expensive purchases that you will make when gardening could be the gardening tools. There is no need to spend a lot of money on shiny new gardening tools from Lowe’s and Home Depot when you can check out second hand stores for great deals. Think about it, who cares if it is used since you will be putting it in the dirt anyway?

Gardening Tip #3 – Skip the Plant Food

You can feed plants pretty easily instead of buying pricey plant foods. All sorts of leftover foods make wonderful compost. You can use coffee grounds or tea bag remnants as fertilizer without having to worry about any smells. Leftover banana peels and egg shells can be used as well. In fact, any sort of leftover, biodegradable foods could be tossed into a trash can to start a plant-loving compost bin.

Gardening Tip #4 – Buy Generic

Many generic gardening products have been proven to work just as well as more expensive name brands. For example, cheap topsoil is perfect to use in any home garden and will help your plants thrive. The more expensive topsoil isn’t any different unless it has additives, which you can also create by using Tip #3!

I followed this tip myself when we created our raised herb garden this year. The cheap topsoil has worked perfectly and all our plants are doing very well. Anyone need some basil? Sheesh, that stuff is a weed!

Gardening Tip #5 – Do It Yourself

Almost everything related to a garden is simply cheaper if you do it yourself. Creating the wood sides for our raised herb garden ended up being half the price of having it built elsewhere. You can also avoid paying pricey landscapers to do work that you can do yourself. My own lawn guy would charge $5 a visit to weed our herb garden, but it only takes us 3-4 minutes a week to do some touch-up weeding. Plus, it is kind of fun to get my hands dirty!

Do you have a garden? What have you done to keep it inexpensive over time?

4 Responses to Inexpensive Tips for a Successful New Garden

  1. I think that i am going to start a garden this year and grow a lot of fresh fruits

  2. I’ve been gardening in my backyard for years. I have a dozen fruit trees, several roses and I plant veggies annually. Unfortunately, I can’t agree on the “generic topsoil” comment. I’ve tried that, and with the soil in my area (very alkaline and difficult to work) I’ve found that the higher-end soil amendments keep the soil from packing back down.

    Start your own plants from seeds! This year I planted snap peas from seeds I saved from last year’s peas – I just let them ripen until they dried on the vine, shelled and stored them in a ziplock baggie. You can’t do this with all veggies, some won’t give you good yields if you try. Zucchini squash seems to work well, as do the peas and dill, but forget tomatoes and eggplant. Regardless, you can always purchase a package of seeds for much less than buying those admittedly lovely plants from the nursery. You do have to plan ahead and start them early – egg cartons are perfect on a windowsill or under a grow-light. If you can get the cardboard egg cartons, after the seedlings are ready to go into the ground you can plant them compartment and all, just be careful cutting the compartments up with an exacto knife.

    Happy gardening!

  3. I am having a garden for the first time…I never considered looking online for plants. Thanks for the tip!