You can invest a bundle in your garden if you want to, but not everyone does. It is completely feasible to do your gardening on a budget by using free or low-cost materials. If you are excited by the idea of putting in a garden but you don’t have a lot of money to spend, it’s time to concentrate on frugal gardening – getting what you need for little or nothing.
Read on for free gardening ideas that can lead to low or no-cost gardening.
How to Garden for Free
While completely no-cost gardening may be a stretch, it is certainly possible to keep landscape costs down by working some free gardening ideas. Many of the tools and gadgets people buy for their gardens are totally unnecessary to growing flowers or crops.
Identify what you truly need to get into gardening on a budget, starting with the basics. This includes garden beds or containers, soil, soil amendments, seeds or plants, and mulch. By being creative, you can come up with many of these materials for free.
Frugal Gardening Starts with Soil
Very few homes have the perfect soil, rich in organic content, that vegetables and many flowers require to thrive. Instead of buying soil supplements, get soil for free by composting it yourself or using a city compost.
Starting a compost pile isn’t difficult, nor is it expensive. You simply pick a corner in the garden, put some dried grass or straw as a base, then deposit kitchen and garden waste on top. Water and stir it from time to time and you end up with free garden compost.
An alternative idea for frugal gardening fans is to call the city and ask about free compost. Many cities compost residents’ yard waste, then give it away to anyone willing to come haul it away.
You can also get free fertilizer for your garden by using certain kitchen products. For example, used coffee grounds and tea bags work well. You can also boil yard clippings and use the resulting “compost tea” to provide nutrients to plants.
Getting Plants for No-Cost Gardening
What about seeds or plants, you wonder? Even one six-pack of veggie starts can cost you more money than you want to spend, let alone buying a beautiful hydrangea or rose bush. When gardening on a budget, you can actually obtain plants for free by saving seeds and taking cuttings.
Remove and store seeds from the organic produce you buy such as tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. Another option is to buy last year’s seeds from the garden store or look for giveaways. For trees, plant seeds like acorns, as these are easy to find under any oak.
To get perennials in your garden, think cuttings. Many wonderful plants can be grown from cuttings including:
Stick the cuttings in water or potting soil, keep them moist, and let them root.
Mulch Your Garden for Free
Mulch works wonders for your garden. Just layer it on top of garden soil after planting for protection from weeds, erosion, as well as regulating temperatures and moisture in the soil.
Buying bags of mulch can set you back quite a bit, especially if you have a larger area to cover. However, your garden will appreciate homemade mulch just as much. Save and dry lawn clippings or chop dried leaves in autumn. Both make excellent mulch, and both are free.