Taking care of your lawn and growing a beautiful garden need not be expensive. In fact, if you do things right, you can spend very little in doing so. That’s because you can get many of the things you need for cheap.
In this article we take a look at some of the best frugal gardening tips and how you can start a garden on a budget.
Not only will you have a garden that’s the envy of your neighbors, you’ll also be able to save extra money for your household budget.
Here are some of the clever ways you can save money on your garden and still make it look beautiful.
9 Frugal Gardening Tips to Start a Garden on a Budget
1. Cut Down on Water Usage
One of the biggest recurring expenses of gardening is water. You’ve probably noticed that regularly watering your lawn or garden has increased your water bill.
One way to cut down on this expense is to collect and recycle water. The best way to do so is set up a rain barrel to collect water when it rains. You can use any large unused barrel you have or a few 5 gallon buckets that are lying around.
This is a great way to use water for free.
All you need to do use the water that’s collected in the buckets when it’s time to water your lawn or garden.
In addition to collecting rain, you can also re-use household water. Water that’s been used for cooking to boil things or condensation from your air conditioner or dehumidifier also help cut down the amount of water your garden hose or sprinkler has to use.
2. Choose Plants That Don’t Need a Lot of Water
Another way to cut down on water usage in your garden is to grow drought resistant plants. These plants don’t require as much water as others do.
So, not only do you get to cut down on maintenance, you also reduce the amount of water you use.
Low water plants like cactus are also often more resilient. This allows them to withstand hot weather and harsh environments with no problems.
Because of this, you won’t need to replace your plants to often.
3. Set Up Drip Irrigation
Instead of watering your plants with a hose, try installing drip irrigation. This system allows you to water the plants where they can absorb more moisture. To do so, they water into the soil directly to the roots of the grass.
This eliminates the extra water you need to use with a gardening hose. The reason being that water that’s on top of the soil takes more time to be absorbed by the roots of plants which are deep I the ground.
During this time, the heat causes some of the water to evaporate so you can lose as much as 30% of the water your use.
4. Buy Gardening Tools Cheap
Gardening tools can be expensive. This is especially true if you want to have a complete set or top of the line equipment.
What’s great about gardening is that it doesn’t care if you use old or new tools. As long as you have the right tools and use them correctly, you’ll grow a wonderful garden.
One of the best ways to find lawn care and gardening tools for cheap is from yard sales. When your neighbors have these sales, their goal is to get rid of the extra stuff they have in the attic, basement or garage.
This lets you find things that they’ve used for their lawn or garden that they no longer need. And, you’ll be able to haggle for a considerably lower price compared to buying them new at the store.
5. Use Seeds Instead of Buying Plants
Buying plants in pots are the most straightforward way to add them to you home. But, grown plants can also be expensive. That’s because the nursery your buy them from considers the growing costs and effort they put in those plants.
One way to reduce this cost is to buy seed packets and grow the plants yourself. It’s true that it takes longer for flowers to bloom. But, since you’re gardening anyway, why not take the opportunity to grow the plants yourself and learn the process yourself.
6. Choose Smaller Plants
Larger plants not only need more space to grow, they also require more care and nutrition. So, choosing smaller plants cuts down on the cost of pots, soil, fertilizer and water you use through the life of the plant.
This is very similar to caring for your pet dog. Smaller dogs eat considerably less than bigger breeds. This means you’ll save a lot more in dog food costs with smaller breeds compared to the larger ones.
7. Use Compost
Setting up a compost bin outside your home is a great way to save money for your garden. It doesn’t require any extra cost because everything you put in the bin is waste that you plan to throw away.
While it may seem obvious, you’ll be surprised to see how many people throw things they can use for compost into the trash. This is probably something we’re used to because we’re taught to throw waste and useless things away.
Whether it’s stuff you cleaned off of your lawn or extras from the produce in your kitchen, these things can help your garden grow without you spending a single cent.
8. Mulch Your Leaves
Besides compost, using mulch is another great gardening money saving tip. Compost is often used as fertilizer to help make the soil and its environment more hospitable for plant growth. On the other hand, mulch is a top layer you put over your lawn or plants.
Mulch comes form the leaves that your rake or collect using your vacuum. Instead of collecting them into bags and throwing them into the landfill, use a mulcher to shred them into smaller bits to add over your garden.
Mulch helps protect the plants and grass from sunlight that can be too intense. In doing so, it helps keep the environment cool and reduces evaporation. This extra moisture means you don’t need to water your plants as often or as much.
9. Take Advantage of Recycling and Salvage
Habit dictates that we throw things away when they’re not used. The thing is, there are a lot of things that look like trash but can be recycled for your garden.
For examples, bottles and containers can be used for decoration or housing plants. In addition, you can also use egg cartons or plastic trays.
Similarly, newspapers and cardboard from boxes or toilet rolls can be used to cover plants or keep worms and other critters away.
Salvaging and recycling may of the old things including crates, packages and other objects can easily be reused in your garden.