How to Be a Frugal Gardener

Gardening can be a very relaxing hobby, but not if you’re maxing out your credit card every time you visit the store for supplies. From tools to fertilizer, there are many things on a gardener’s checklist. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune on lawn and garden maintenance if you consider the following advice. Below, we have compiled 33 tips on how to become a frugal gardener.

  1. Harvest Rain Water – Using containers to collect rainwater is a great way to quench a lawn’s thirst without driving up your water bill. Rainwater is also chemical-free, which is an added bonus.
  2. Water at Night – Watering your lawn and garden during the coolest hours will ensure that the soil absorbs most of the water before it evaporates. Essentially, that will stretch your water further and reduce your monthly water bill.
  3. Grow Plants From Cuttings – Many plants can be spliced and multiplied. Conduct some research to see if any of your plants can produce cuttings for new plants rather than spending money on new plants.
  4. Invest in PerennialsPerennials may cost more than annuals, but they will reappear the following year. Think of it as a good investment.
  5. Collect Seeds From Your Garden – Rather than purchasing seeds, you canharvest them from the plants already growing in your garden.
  6. Research Before Planting – Research can save you a lot of money. For example, planting something during the wrong time of year or in the wrong area can result in quickly dying plants. Prepare correctly and you will avoid these mistakes.
  7. Join a “Plant Swap” – If you know other gardening enthusiasts, you should begin trading plants, seeds and cuttings. It is a cheap way to experiment with new plants.
  8. Use Free, Unorthodox Planters – Look around you, as almost any containercan be a planter. Some people use old tires and boots, but you may have something a little more glamorous in mind. The possibilities are endless.
  9. Buy Off-Season – Just like clothes, plants are easier on your credit card account at the end of the season. If you purchase perennials, don’t worry about the season ending, as you will just get a head start on the next season that the plant returns.
  10. Invest in Good Tools – When you are in a frugal state of mind, it may be hard to spend a lot of money on anything. However, you shouldn’t skimp on the gardening tools, as a good set of tools will last you a lifetime. In the long run, you will have saved an exorbitant amount of money.
  11. Reuse Your Grass Clippings – Don’t be tempted to bag up those grass clippings, as leaving them on the lawn is good fertilizer. Not only does it containvital nutrients that reabsorb into the soil, grass is 70% water.
  12. Utilize Vinegar – Vinegar is a cheap solution for many household dilemmas and the garden is no exception. From killing weeds to keeping cats away, vinegar is a natural alternative with multiple uses.
  13. Grow From Seeds – Rather than purchasing plants that are ready to be put in the ground, start with a seed. It is much cheaper and will give you more satisfaction when you see that first sprout.
  14. Grow Useful Plants – Try growing plants that “give back”. For example, fruits and vegetables can be eaten, which reduces your grocery bill. Also, certain plants and flowers can attract the right kind of insects to your garden.
  15. Start a Compost Pile – By recycling your yard’s waste, you will have a free, endless source of nutrients for your soil.
  16. Seek Free Manure For Fertilizing – Many farmers would be happy to let you take some manure off their hands. Should you live near the country, ask around for places to obtain this fertilizer at no cost.
  17. Utilize Your Leftovers – Yard waste isn’t the only material you should be putting in your compost heap. Leftover scraps from the table, such as vegetables, are great for fertilizing. Avoid using meat, however, as that will attract stray animals that may dig up your garden.
  18. Use Natural Pest Control – There are many natural, free alternatives to commercial pesticides. Vinegar, dishwashing soap, and ground eggshells are just a few options.
  19. Save Rocks For Later Use – Rocks and concrete can always be used forlandscaping purposes, so keep any that you come across.
  20. Ask Friends For Root Cuttings – If you find yourself admiring a friend’s plant, politely ask if you can have a cutting. Most gardeners will be flattered by the request.
  21. Seek an Expert’s Advice – Don’t hesitate in asking someone questions if they are an experienced gardener. Most hobbyists love the chance to talk about their passion and it’s a free source of information for you.
  22. Plant Marigolds – Marigolds are not only beautiful, they attract predators which kill aphids. Aphids, also known as plant lice, are deadly for your garden.
  23. Grow Vertically to Save Space – The use of fences and trellises to grow plants vertically will make more room for your garden. Maximizing your garden space is a frugal endeavor.
  24. Do Everything Yourself – Mowing your yard and trimming your hedges may be a pain, but you should avoid paying anyone else to do it.
  25. Kill Weeds With Boiling Water – If you have weeds growing up through the cracks of your sidewalk and driveway, forget about buying weed killer. Boiling water poured over those cracks will do the trick for free. Also, it is better for the environment than chemicals.
  26. Buy Used Tools at Auctions – It is essential that you purchase quality tools for your gardening. However, you avoid retail prices on eBay or at local auctions.
  27. Peruse Garage Sales in Established Communities – Established communities often have older residents who enjoy gardening. Look to these neighborhoods for garage sales that offer gardening equipment.
  28. Rent, Don’t Buy, Large Equipment – Unless you are living on a farm, you won’t need large equipment to maintain a garden. Renting a power tool is much cheaper than buying one, particularly if you only use said item once a season.
  29. Be Patient – You won’t grow the landscape of your dreams overnight, so don’t get ahead of yourself. Ready-to-plant flowers and trees are tempting, but far from frugal.
  30. Utilize Salt For Landscaping – Like vinegar and boiling water, salt is a natural weed killer. In fact, salting the ground will ensure that nothing grows in that place, so use it wisely!
  31. Grow Native Plants – Plants that are native to your area will be able to handle your soil and climate. The longevity of your plants is important, as replacing them will cost more money and time.
  32. Recycle Coffee Grounds – Never throw your coffee grounds in the trash, as they can be sprinkled onto your lawn as fertilizer. Also, you can put the grinds in your compost heap to increase its nitrogen levels.
  33. Plant Fake Flowers – Purists may scoff at this idea, but there are many fake flowers that appear quite genuine. They never have to be replaced and don’t require sunshine and water.

Gardening is one of the most popular American hobbies, but it doesn’t have to be an expensive one. If you look at the pastime in a simplistic way, you merely need tools, seeds and water. Any other supplies, such as fertilizer and weed killer, can be obtained naturally for free. Also, you should conduct research online and at the local library so you know what to plant and when. With a little knowledge and a conservative attitude, gardening can be a relaxing, inexpensive way to spend an afternoon, rather than an expensive way to spend your money.

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