We all love springtime. The birds are singing, the trees are blooming and the weather is just right. It is the perfect time to spend outdoors, especially when you are using your time to plant a beautiful and productive garden.
But for those of us who struggle with debt or making ends meet, starting a garden can seem like an unnecessary luxury. That thought couldn’t be more wrong. Having your own garden can save you exponentially on veggies you would normally buy at a market. Plus, you are getting the organic stuff for a fraction of the cost. If you know how to be garden savvy, you can really save during the warmer months.
Here are our favorite tips for having a bountiful garden on a budget.
Skip the Fancy Stuff
You don’t need pretty planters. Your trowel doesn’t need to have a cool design painted on the side of it. Keep it simple and try to recycle as much as possible. The dollar store is a great place to find containers or planters. You could even see if your friends or neighbors have old tools or planters you can borrow or buy for a lower price. You can also split the cost and the use of garden supplies with your friends or neighbors. A community garden isn’t a bad idea!
Start from Seeds
Unless you are late to the planting game, seeds are the more cost efficient way to go, since seeds only cost a fraction of what seedlings do. It takes a little more nurturing and a lot more time, but it is well worth it in the long run.
Nothing goes to waste when you have a garden. Keep a compost pile (a mixture of decayed or decaying organic matter, like old veggies and even paper towels) to fertilize your garden. Collect rainwater in barrels. This water can be used in place of the stuff from the hose. Hello savings!
Make a Plan
Don’t just go to the store and buy a bunch of seed packets. Make a detailed plan on what you are going to plant and how you are going to lay out your garden. Will you do container gardening or directly in the ground? Also, this isn’t the time to experiment with exotic fruits or veggies. Plant the items you know you will use throughout the season. The gap your garden leaves in your budget can be devoted to experimenting with new food (or paying down credit card debt).
Instead of buying the expensive pest sprays, you can plant herbs to ward away pests. Bay, dill, fennel and parsley are all commonly used herbs that repel unwanted bugs. With this method, you don’t have to spray your beloved garden with chemicals to keep the bugs at bay. If you can’t work the herbs into your garden, vinegar is also known to repel insects. Mix it with water and give your garden a light spritz to keep the nasty creatures away.
Looking for more creative ways to save this spring? Check out our couponing blog.