I’ve just been working on the Budget Smart Girl book and was writing on the topic of gardening. I thought I’d share this with you, my ten favorite ways to save some money each spring when the urge to finally get outside again is strong-
Refresh and Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
I used to think I had to replace all the mulch in the flower beds every year but that got expensive and labor intensive too. Now I buy new mulch every other year or as needed. If things begin to look pitiful you can always top the old stuff with just one bag of new and brightly colored mulch. This way people think you’ve redone the whole thing.
Visit the Extension Service
A quick search online will tell you where your nearest extension service is, and then use them as a resource. Some have free gardening classes and all of them have free brochures you can take home. Best of all if a gardening problem has you scratching your head, someone there probably has an answer that can save you lots of money in the long run.
Herbs, herbs and herbs
I have a large backyard and to buy plants for every flowerbed would be expensive so I rely on herbs to fill in lots of spaces. They’re cheap, most of them spread and self seed…just make sure things like mint don’t take over the whole garden. Some flower and look very attractive. They smell good, and best of all you can use them in cooking and preserving.
The same goes for some vegetables and fruits. This year I’m trying my hand at growing strawberries and blueberries. The key to success is knowing what varieties are best for your growing zone so ask before you buy.
Sometimes it’s not always our fault when things die or just don’t do as well as we hoped. Many gardening centers, and DIY stores that sell plants, will replace them within the first year so keep your receipt.
Some communities have gardening clubs or just a group of people who love flowers and are more than willing to swamp plants with you. Best thing is most of these plants are already well-established and been raised by someone who’s given them lots of TLC.
Look At the Garden another Pantry
I know one of the trees in our front yard has to be removed one soon. I’ll be sad to see it go but a perfect plan is to replace it with something like an pear or apple tree…or whatever grows best where you live. It’s not only something nice to look at but at the end of the season you’ve got something to eat or preserve for winter dining.
Divide and Conquer
This year I have lots of plants that need dividing because they’re taking over certain flowerbeds. It’s the perfect time to fill in areas that are bare and for no extra cost.
If you ever have a tree removed and it’s not diseased, have the tree service company mulch it and you can use it throughout the garden.
I used to think my local DIY store was the best source of all things gardening but now online stores have more competitive prices and lots more things any gardener desires.