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10 Ways To Save Money When Gardening

My Top 10 Ways To Save Money When Gardening

Gardening is a hobby for all budgets, but it can easily snowball into quite the investment. Here are my top 10 ways to save money when gardening.

1. Start Plants From Seed 

One of the best ways to save money when gardening is to start your plants from seed. Don't be thrown off by elaborate seed starting setups. Creating your own space for seed starting can be as simple as a recycled egg carton or solo cups & seed starter mix on a windowsill. 

2. Seed Swap Events

Seed swaps usually start popping up in fall/winter time & are a great way to exchange excess seed you may have for different varieties. Plus, it's a great opportunity to make more gardening friends. Search for seed swap events online near you or reach out to your local extension office.

3. Plant Swap With Friends & Neighbors

Speaking of friends, early spring is a great time to coordinate a plant swap with friends & neighbors when the weather is perfect for dividing perennials. Pro tip - if you receive a free plant that you've never heard of before, taking some time to research it before planting it in your garden beds. I've been the recipient of more than one perennial that quickly & unexpectedly took over my flower beds. 

4. Seed Libraries

Many areas now have seed libraries where gardeners can get seeds for free or a small fee. You will often find these at public libraries and sometimes museums or other community based organizations.

5. Shop The Clearance Plant Section

"Big box" stores like Lowes, Home Depot, etc. are a great place to hunt for clearance plants. They're usually a little tattered from the weather or lack of care but with a little water & time, you can revive them for your own garden space.

6. Purchase Seeds At The End Of The Season For Next Year's Garden

Most seed suppliers will discount their stock toward the end of the current growing season. This is a great time to stock up for next year's garden & save fifty percent or more on your selections. Make sure you do a little research on seed viability but most seeds should make it to at least the next year or even longer. One exception is pelleted seed which loses viability (or "goes bad") rather quickly, so skip those varieties.

7. Save Your Own Seed

As the end of the garden season draws near, it's a great time to take inventory of the varieties in your garden that you can save. Heirloom varieties especially lend themselves to seed savings. If you grow garlic, you can save some of your largest heads & utilize those for planting in the fall. 

8. Preserve Your Harvest

In my opinion, the best fruits & vegetables are those grown in my own garden, so I enjoy preserving what I can to enjoy throughout the year. Whether it's canning, freezing, or drying, the end result helps offset grocery bills in the future & factor into my overall budget.

9. Rain Barrels

Another small way to offset an overall budget is utilizing rain barrels instead of tacking extra usage onto a water bill, if you have one. Many times you can find workshops in your community that will provide the rain barrel for free or a small fee & teach you how to set it up. Plus, rain water is usually better for your garden than what's coming out of the tap.

10. Only Grow What You Love 

This one is easiest to implement. If you don't love green beans, don't waste the space, time, or money growing them. I used to get so carried away with growing crops & varieties simply because they sounded nice when in reality, it was wasted space. Now, that doesn't mean you shouldn't experiment in the garden & try new things, but if you've tried it & don't like it, then skip it next year & share the seed with someone else who may love it.

What about you - how do you save money when gardening? Leave your ideas below. I'd love to read them! 

Happy growing!


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