Since the beginning of the pandemic, many of us have turned to gardening as a way to deal with the stress and boredom of quarantine. Yet, because of the quarantine, many of us are also on tight budgets. In order to help you out, we’ll discuss some of our tips for gardening on a budget.
For those who have a plot of land, container gardening might not be the best option when gardening on a budget. After all, the land is free, and it doesn’t cost too much to buy some chicken wire or raised beds for your garden. Containers, on the other hand, can get quite expensive. But for those without a plot of land on which to plant, container gardening might be the only option.
One of the most expensive elements of container gardening is buying containers. Every gardener’s eyes get a little too big for their wallets when they see planters in Marshall’s or Target. Big, beautiful pots glazed in different colors and patterns can cost anywhere from $40 to $200, and when you’re on a budget, these planters simply aren’t feasible.
If you have your heart set on clay planters, you can try searching Facebook Marketplace or another web app to see if there are cheap gardening planters for sale. You can also try buying a plain terracotta planter at a craft store and painting it to your liking!
For those who aren’t as picky, here are cheap (and some unconventional) planter ideas:
- Up-cycled plastic containers (high- and low-density polyethylene are the best options)
- Metal containers
- Wood containers
- Egg cartons
- Egg shells
- Used sacks
- Old shoes
Yes, even shoes!
Buying Seeds and Plants
Seeds aren’t particularly expensive, but we all know that buying plants can get very expensive.
To save some money on seeds, consider saving seeds from your previous garden (which is actually much better for your garden because the seeds will be well-adapted to your environment), sharing seeds with friends and neighbors, and using seeds from produce you buy. Note: some seeds in produce are sterile and won’t sprout.
If you don’t like starting from seed and want to buy plants, try some of these tips:
- Look for plants in the SALE section.
- Choose native plants or those well-adapted to the environment so they have a better chance of survival. Nothing is worse than spending money on plants that soon die.
- Consider why you’re gardening: for extra food or for fun? This will help you avoid impulse buying and save money.
- Ask a friend or neighbor if they have extra plants or cuttings they could spare.
- Decide where you want to plant before shopping so you know how many plants you actually need to buy.
- Choose the cheapest options that still satisfy your needs.
Maybe you can’t buy the exotic Tri-Color Hoya Plant, but there are other plants that are just as beautiful and will keep your wallet a little fatter.
Finding Gardening Supplies on a Budget
Gardening on a budget can be difficult when you consider plants, seeds, containers, and essential supplies. But there are ways to save money when searching for gardening supplies.
For instance, container gardening won’t require the pruning loppers, rakes, and hoes that gardens require. In fact, if you’re okay with getting your hands dirty, you won’t even need gloves.
Some essential things you will need when gardening include:
- Watering can or container
- Hand trowel
- Potting soil for container gardening
There are so many tools out there that make gardening a lot easier, but they aren’t essential. For instance, you don’t need a drip irrigator if you water your plants yourself or make an irrigation system using water bottles. For larger gardens, you’ll need more supplies, but you can always get creative. For instance, instead of buying an expensive wheelbarrow to haul away dead plants and weeds or harvested produce, just use an old bucket or container.
The only tools you’ll really need are listed above. You’ll obviously need something with which to water your plants, but you can find anything lying around your house that will do. A trowel or similar tool is needed to dig holes. For a cheap gardening idea, you could try substituting this tool with a kitchen utensil. Gardening tools are made to be sturdy because digging through the dirt can be daunting, depending on soil type. But for container gardening, a kitchen utensil, such as a large spoon or ladle, could do.
Fertilizer and potting soil are also essential. There’s not point in spending the money on plants if they die. The right potting soil is essential to cultivate the perfect bed for your plants. Do some research on what type of soil your plants need and then search for the cheapest option.
As for fertilizer, you’ll want one that will last you a while. To get the best bang for your buck, try xVital. Our liquid fertilizer is designed to be mixed with water, so it will last much longer than other fertilizers. In addition, it is 100% ecofriendly and doesn’t change the soil’s pH or burn plant roots like other fertilizers. For more information on xVital, click here.
Gardening on a budget can be difficult, but it isn’t impossible. You can still enjoy your quarantine time without blowing all of your money by following our tips! And for more gardening tips, check out our gardener’s guide.