Cool Ideas

Garden on a Dime

While plenty of sun, rain, and a green thumb is the recipe for a thriving garden, the truth is that it takes a pinch of cash to really get your greens growing. After all, like any hobby, gardening requires a few crucial supplies to create that lush outdoor escape. Lucky for you, we have a handful of helpful tips to plant the seeds of success on a budget.

Garden on a Dime
  1. Grow from seeds: Not only is patience a virtue, it's a huge money-saver in your garden. It's much cheaper to grow plants from seeds versus buying an already grown plant. With a little planning and research, you can still have your flowers and plants thriving in no time.
  2. Throw a swap party: Do you know fellow gardeners? Then chances are you could benefit from sharing seeds and plants. Since you typically only use a pinch or two from any given pack of seeds, it's a great idea to exchange leftover seeds. (Always store unused seeds in a sealed bag and keep dry.) Likewise, share divisions of overgrown plants or bulbs.
  3. Skip the garden store: Big name garden centers tend to have big price tags, and that's because you are mostly paying for the convenience of finding everything in one place. Try looking for garden supplies at your local supermarket or discount store, where you're likely to find identical supplies at a lesser price.
  4. Make your own supplies: The ambitious gardener can really pinch pennies by making their own compost and weed killer. For compost, the ideal combination is a 50/50 mix of "greens" (grass cuttings, fruit and vegetable peelings, old flowers, etc.) and "browns" (cardboard, egg boxes, fallen leaves, twigs, branches, etc). For weed killer, mix one part vinegar to eight parts water (for standing weeds spray with undiluted white distilled vinegar).
  5. Get creative: No need to spend money on fancy garden tool or d├ęcor. Use the supplies you have on hand for pots, plant markers, and more. For example, an old sink, rain boot, or anything with a hollow center can double as a charming planter. Paint stirs make perfect plant markers, and branches are an eco-friendly way to line your garden beds.