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Save Money by Gardening at Home

Updated on March 29, 2012
The first daffodil of the season and the first I've ever grown!
The first daffodil of the season and the first I've ever grown!

Gardening can be an expensive hobby but it doesn't have to be.There are so many ways to "pinch pennies," help the environment and still grow beautiful flowers and veggies. Start by reading about the type of gardening you want to do. Fruit? Vegetable? Flower? All three? Tons of books exist on these topics and the least expensive places to find them are your local library and on the internet. You can garden for less money by following these tips.

♦ Purchasing plants from the neighborhood home improvement garden center or nursery is one option in starting a home garden but can run up your bill substantially. Buying seeds is much more cost effective. Seed packet prices range from $.20 to $3.00 or more. Carefully read planting instructions and follow them, as this will dramatically improve your crop. Each packet should give information about the product; how, when and where to plant it; days to germination (sprouting) and/or harvest and the type soil needed for optimum growth. If you don't use all your seeds one year, store them in a cool, dry place and plant the rest next year.

Share and trade seeds, bulbs and divided plants with friends and neighbors. This can also increase your crop without spending any money at all.

♦ Stretch the gardening dollar by planting perennials instead of annuals. Perennials grow, die and return each year for several years or more. Annuals usually only grow for one season. Vegetables are primarily annuals. However, if you harvest the seeds after the plant fruits, you can use those seeds the next year.

You Can't Go Wrong with This Book

♦ During a dry season or drought, your water bill can get pretty high from all the extra watering in your garden. Instead of using your garden hose, use a rain barrel for collecting rainwater to use for watering plants. Rain barrels may be purchased at home improvement stores or better yet, make your own. Simple instructions can be found on the internet.

♦ Never again buy expensive mulch to beautify and nourish the garden. Start your own compost pile with lawn clippings and kitchen scraps. See for easy instructions.

Recycle small used containers for seeds that are best started indoors before the last frost. Empty individual yogurt, fruit and pudding cups are great for this purpose.

Container gardening doesn't have to be done in expensive pots. Use old sneakers, a wheelbarrow or a basket for a creative and fun planter that, while adding interest to a garden, reuses items that may have been destined for the trash pile.

Gardening for less really pays off with an armful of flowers to decorate the mantel and bountiful food for your table!


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