Spend Less on Your Green Thumb

plants in a pot, herbs

Gardening is both an enjoyable pastime and a great way to make your own delicious food. If you’re a parent like online savings guru Kate Sorenson, maintaining your garden can be a fun family activity and learning experience. But sometimes the costs can be overwhelming and you might prefer to just stay inside. Before taking your gloves off, however, learn the tricks to maintaining your hobby for as little money as possible.

Seeds, Seeds, Seeds!
When starting next year’s garden, you might be tempted to buy an already grown seedling plant and save yourself some trouble. FabulesslyFrugal.com warns against this, pointing out that a $2 package of seeds often costs the same as a single plant. They go on to suggest buying heirloom seeds, which can be harvested every year and will save you money in the long run. A recently published article on the Sacramento Bee also explains the importance of seeds, advising to take seeds from your full grown plants and using them next year. Once you have your seeds, allow them to dry in a shoebox before transferring them to a labeled envelope.

Share with Friends and Neighbors
By swapping crops with neighbors, you can maximize on each other’s gardening talents and not let any food go to waste. About.com suggests hosting a plant swap where you and your friends pitch in whatever extra plants you have that year and divide them amongst each other. This way you can get more without paying anything extra. Another money-saver is buying bulk orders of plants, seeds, and especially bulbs. A humongous load of 1,000 daffodils will be a lot cheaper than buying them separately – have a few friends pitch in and divide up all the flowers.

Save Water
When you think about gardening, you may not realize just how much you’re spending on water for the plants. To cut down on this cost, try utilizing a rain barrel: rainwater from your gutter collects in it and can be used to water your crops for no cost. Another great solution is installing drip irrigation. This will both help you to water your plants and waste less water, making it a no-brainer.

When you’re done cleaning your garden, don’t let all the “trash” go to waste! Add it to a compost pile, along with dried leaves, and help your garden grow for no cost at all. The plants will thank you for the help in growing and you will thank yourself for the few extra minutes it took to save compost. Along the same lines, save other things you’d normally throw out for your garden. Newspapers can be used as weed barriers and small containers for starting seeds: be smart and recycle!

There are countless ways to save money in the garden and most of them are completely free. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your green thumb is an expensive curse. You can satisfy your desire to garden and even make money by just being smart about your gardening decisions.

~ jess thompson - guest blogger
photo credit - jonathan rausseo

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