Experienced gardeners already know that gardening can become a rich and fulfilling hobby. However, you may have to learn to curb your enthusiasm or the hobby can become costlier than you may have anticipated.
The truth is that as human beings we sometimes become super enthusiastic about a job, hobby or project because we enjoy it so much and we really don’t pay attention to the amount of time and money we are investing in it. If you are just starting and relying on keeping to a budget, that pursuit of saving money should also include the hobby of gardening.
Here are some ideas on how to grow a thriving garden for less money than you might think.
· Develop gardening friends. If you discover that a neighbor is as enthusiastic about gardening as you are, then partner up and create a shared garden. The garden can be located on the boundary of you and your neighbor’s properties with half of the garden on your land and half on your neighbor’s. You share in the expense and in the time in creating the garden. Moreover, if you and your neighbor are partnering on a vegetable garden, then you can also share in the bounty. Developing garden friendships with others can also help save money because what results of the friendships can lead to exchanging plants and seeds. You and your friends could also combine resources to buy seeds in bulk.
· Plan. When tending to a garden the inclination may be to take quick action rather than plot out a plan. Taking time to plan helps you curb your enthusiasm for the better. For example, before you rush out to buy new plants, make a list of the plants you want. Include plants that you know you will care about later on. If you are nurturing a vegetable garden, then select vegetables that you and your family actually eat.
· Make your own compost. Instead of buying fertilizer a few times a year, make and use compost. You can actually create a compost pile and keep adding organic kitchen waste to it daily. Many suggest that you use your blender to blend leftover organic scraps from the kitchen each day and add it directly to the soil around heavy feeding plants like roses or just add it to your compost pile for later use. Encourage your neighbors to contribute to your compost bin.
· Use seeds. It is more cost effective to start plants off as seeds.
· Grow plants that seed themselves. You can include annuals in your garden. Yes, it’s true that they die with the coming of the first frost, but you don’t have to re-plant because these flowers drop viable seeds during the growing season. Flowers that do this are referred to as self-seeding or self-sowing. The dropped seeds germinate in spring. Self-seeding flowers include cosmos, sunflowers, alyssum, poppies, lambs ear, black-eyed susans and yarrow.
· Line planters with newspaper before adding soil. This helps to retain water and keep the soil temperature more constant. It saves in water and saves in watering time.
· Buy plants online at discount prices. You can order roses and other shrubs online in late winter when they are offered at tremendous discounts. Visit the catalog online sites periodically to discover web sales and huge discounts.
· Purchase large pots of flowers you can divide. Purchase these pots in late summer at a huge discount. Many plants can be divided into several smaller plants and planted into your garden in the fall. You could get as many as three or four new full size plants like this. Plants you can divide include lambs ear, daylilies, groundcovers, ornamental grasses, dianthus, bluebells, coreopsis, coneflower and bee balm.
· Buy plants at local plant sales. The local newspaper offers information on plant sales and you can also check local listings on Craigslist.com.