5 Tips for the Frugal Gardener

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For a garden to thrive and last season after season, considerable time, effort, planning, and expense must be put into it. Unfortunately, not everyone has the area or budget for a full garden with all the implements.

This shouldn’t stop you from creating a space of green, growing things, though. The benefits of having a garden still outweigh its inconveniences. For one, you will be contributing to a healthier environment, and your home will be more beautiful for it. Here are five tips to get that green thumb to work while saving money in the process.

Collect water using a rain barrel

Many lawns and gardens have suffered during these times of strict water conservation and rationing. Using sprinklers and garden hoses are frowned upon. A rain barrel is a practical way to collect rainwater so your plants and soil can stay moist and thriving even in hot weather. You can use a clean plastic paint bucket to collect the water in, and use a small can as dipper. This way, you’ll be harnessing nature and helping to conserve the country’s water resources in the process.

Start a seed swap

Seeds can become really expensive if you buy them in increments. You can either build up a seed collection over time using those you can get from fruits and vegetables you consume…or better yet, start a seed swap with fellow gardening enthusiasts. You can trade flower seeds for vegetables ones if you want your own vegetable garden (or vice versa if you want the former).

Work with what you have (or what you can have for free)

Don’t have enough space for a lawn or an herb garden? Use your vertical spaces, then. These days, even the tiniest urban homes can have their own pocket gardens and tiny terraced wall planters. With a bit of elbow grease, you can put up a grid to hang small pots of herbs and flowers on your patio wall, or have a row of planters hanging from your balcony.

As for gardening tools, you don’t need to buy everything brand-new. Use old food containers to grow seeds in before transferring them to sturdier pots. Scour garage sales or use hand-me-downs from family and friends – as long as they are still intact and in good condition, you can still use them for your garden.

Invest in long-term gardening materials

When you’re on a budget, cheap things can be so tempting to buy. However, when it comes to materials that can spell out the difference between a healthy garden and one that will cost you time, effort, and money, investing in quality is still a good idea.
For instance, different mulching materials can have a big effect on the growth of your plants. Many organic mulches are inexpensive or can even be had for free, but they present special problems (mulch rot, rodents, weeds, mold, and termites) that can put a dent in your budget in the long run. Rubber mulch, though costlier than most mulches, is a good alternative because it does the job of insulating the soil and plants while being resistant to these common mulching problems.

Take advantage of home improvement coupons

The good news is that there’s still a great way to start your own garden using quality materials without breaking the bank. Many home improvement websites regularly offer huge discounts on their products. MulchCoupons.com is one such site – they offer coupon codes daily for rubber mulch, fertilizer, and other gardening and home repair items. If you want huge savings while building your garden, it’s a good idea to make it a habit to use coupons and promos.
Resources:
http://www.bhg.com/gardening/landscaping-projects/inexpensive/
https://thegardendiaries.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/frugal-gardener-growing-on-a-budget/
http://getbusygardening.com/beginners-guide-to-gardening-on-a-budget/

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