Flower gardens add to the beauty of your yard, are good for the environment, and are a great way to express your creativity in color, layout and design. Perhaps you already have a garden but want to add to it, or are thinking of starting one for the first time. One way to start a garden is to simply buy plants from a greenhouse, but you will pay extra for it and probably won’t be able to get as many or as large a variety of plants as you would like. There are other ways to plant a garden without spending a large amount just to get started. Take a look at the following tips to creating a beautiful garden at very little or no expense.
Start with seeds. Seeds are much cheaper than grown plants. At about $3, the average seed packet yields roughly 40 plants. Not only are seeds cheaper, growing your plants from seeds will allow you to feel more like a true gardener. Obviously, you need to think ahead and start seedlings inside if you want to plant them outside as soon as the weather breaks. Pick perennials which will come back year after year, and you’ll save more by not having to buy as many new seeds and plants the following year.
Utilize garden clubs, online forums, or neighbors to swap seeds and plants. There are great resources available via garden clubs and websites such as Organic Gardening and the one hosted by the National Gardening Association at garden.org/seedswap. Also consider asking your neighbors if they are willing to split some of their hardy perennials such as hostas or lilies, and share what you can in return. Networking with other gardeners will save you money while helping you meet those who share your interests.
Feed your garden with rainwater and compost. We all know the water bill can get pretty high if you are watering a garden all summer. Consider setting up a rain barrel to conserve resources while saving money on your water bill. Consider composting scraps from your yard and kitchen to be used for mulch. If this isn’t feasible, check with lawn and tree care companies to see if you can get mulch cheaper or even for free.
Don’t overlook marked-down plants at the end of the season. Some annuals can be revived with a little TLC before being re-planted to inexpensively add some fall color to your flowerbeds.
Most plants are marked down in the late fall as the growing season winds down. But since perennials plants, trees, and bushes will come up again in the spring, buying them cheaper in the fall is a wise investment. Just make sure your plants are healthy-looking and bug-free.
Enjoying your love of gardening or exploring it for the first time doesn’t have to be expensive. With a little hard work, planning, and wise use of the many resources available, you can create a beautiful garden that will bring satisfaction and joy for years to come.