Want to have a lovely garden this summer but are afraid of the expense? Here are some ways to save money gardening that you might not have thought of yet!
5 Ways to Save Money Gardening
There is nothing like gardening in the summer.
My obsession begins in January when the seed catalogs start arriving. Then it overflows in February when I place my seed orders after carefully combing over the catalogs for the past month. There is the long wait of March as it’s too early to start planting. April arrives and my longer season seeds get started indoors and I get a little taste of dirt in my hands.
Finally, May arrives and I ignore the stinging in my back as I hunch over to plant rows and rows of seeds. My heart is so full and overflowing with joy that I’m finally outside and I’m finally able to begin growing some green that it’s hard not to burst into song. Oh who cares, you KNOW that’s me out in the garden when you can hear the singing a half a mile down the road.
I may not be the best gardener in the world but I sure do love it.
Gardening can be an expensive little hobby. Even if you are creating a garden to feed your family, there can still be off-putting costs involved that make it hard to get going. Today I’m going to share with you 5 ways to save money gardening so that you can make the most of your experience on a very tight budget.
How to Save Money Gardening
1. Use what you have. Whatever you have. Although certain gardening helps and tools are nice to have, it can be hard to afford to buy things new, especially when you are just starting and need a lot of things. Learn to be creative and use what you already have!
In our garden, I prefer to have several types of plants growing up (pole beans, cucumbers, etc). I do not have room in my budget to buy brand new trellis’ or even materials to make new trellis’. To create the fences that we do use for climbing plants we simply dragged some old hog paneling out of the tall grass in our pasture, left here by the previous owner.
We plan on needing more in the near future as well so we are going to take off the paneling used n part of our pasture fence (put up by the previous owner) and replace it with a different kind of fencing. We need to replace the fencing anyway so we already have that figured into our budget, but it just makes sense to give the old fencing a new purpose!
–Want to teach your kids to garden? Here are my tips for Introducing Little Ones to Garden!
2. Take advantage of a plant swap or learn to save seeds. Although at around $2 – $3 per packet, seeds don’t seem very expensive, they can add up when you start to buy 10+ varieties of seeds. Participating in some kind of seed or plant swap can help bring this cost down since you only will need to plant a few varieties and can swap for the rest.
You can also learn how to save seeds and you can save the cost of seeds altogether by just following a few simple seed saving rules at the end of the growing season. Learn more about
You can also learn how to save seeds and you can save the cost of seeds altogether by just following a few simple seed saving rules at the end of the growing season.
–Learn more about How to Save Seeds here.
3. Make your own garden amendments and pesticides. There are so many different things that you can make homemade to help your garden that will not only save you from putting chemicals on your plants but can save you a bundle in the store.
As far as soil amendments go, Epsom Salt can be a great way to add magnesium and sulfur into the soil and it’s very inexpensive. You can also make this awesome Banana Fertilizer Plant Spray out of old banana peels. For a general fertilizer, we personally prefer just to use cow manure, it’s free and readily available to us! You could also look into using Potato Water, another free resource!
4. Consider making common garden helps yourself. I really enjoy using Coconut Fiber Pots to start my garden seeds in, but when my budget doesn’t allow rooms for extras I’ve planted my starts in Newspaper Seedling Holders before. They don’t cost anything to make and very simple to put together.
I also usually use soil from my garden instead of potting soil for both garden plants and any flowers that I plant in pots. It doesn’t always work as well as potting soil but when your budget is very tight, certain sacrifices have to be made!
You can easily make your own Garden Mulch, you don’t have to get it from the store. Of course, you can make your own compost as well. That’s something I hope to get started on myself this year. Think about other things that you could make yourself (and some of this plays into just being creative with what you have like I mentioned above).
Need a soaker hose? Take an old hose that you aren’t using anymore. Put a few holes into it where they are needed to water the plants…perfect soaker hose! My husband did this for us this year to water our newly planted trees. He took some old hoses and poked holes in them the exact distance apart as the trees are from each other. Now, all we need to do is haul our water cart down by the trees, hook up the hose and let it do all of the work. Money-saving and time-saving!
–Brand new to Gardening? Read my Need-To-Know Tips here!
5. Be efficient. If you aren’t using a well for your water and you have to pay for all of the water that you use, make sure that you set your garden to be as efficient as possible. Place soaker hoses where you can and only use sprinklers where necessary.
Monitor the amount of water that you use and only use what you really need to. Place plants as close together as possible (use trellis’ to lift them up if you are concerned they might not have enough space) so that you have less ground to water and mulch. Using less space also might lessen your amount of gardening tools needed.
Share with us! What are some ways to save money gardening that you have discovered?
Find more tips on gardening and planting a garden on my Gardening 101 page!
The Gardening and Preserving Journal is here! If you are gardening or planning on doing any preserving this year, you NEED this wonderful sprial bound journal! Get your own copy here.
This blog post on How to Save Money Gardening was originally published on Little House Living in May 2016. It has been updated as of April 2020.