Summer gardening can quickly escalate into an expensive project if you don’t plan ahead with a specific budget in mind. If you plan according to your budget and purchase according to your specific plans and needs you are likely to find that your summer garden is more budget friendly than the vast majority of other summer gardens on the block. I hope the advice that follows will help you cut the expense of summer garden and help you find budget friendly ways to build the summer garden of your dreams.
Only buy what you need!
Do not buy what you do not need. It doesn’t matter how good the deal if you do not need the seeds, tools, and various other items there is no real reason to purchase them. It is a waste of money that could be better spent elsewhere to spend money that doesn’t need to be spent.
Don’t pay for shipping!
Don’t pay for shipping if it can be avoided. You may find a few items cheaper online but be very aware of the costs involved in shipping. If it costs more when all is said and done than it would have cost to purchase the same items locally you haven’t saved anything at all. Look at the big picture rather than seeing only the cheaper asking price. It is also a good idea to support small local businesses whenever possible as they are going to be more likely to bargain, barter, and throw in freebies.
Shop Local and Buy used
Check locally for free composting materials. Many communities offer these free to residents. When compared with the expense of purchasing these materials the savings can be significant over the course of a summer.
Check your local classified ads and free-cycle program for used garden tools that are in good condition. There are many reasons that people sell or give away garden tools and a bargain is a bargain on these tools that are going to be used to play in the dirt. You do not need to be incredibly picky about the tools you purchase and saving money is almost always a good thing. It’s even better, of course, when you get them for no cost at all. You also might find a few free plants available through these sources too.
Exchange with friends
Work out an exchange among gardening friends. This is a great way to incorporate new plants into your summer garden without purchasing each plant you wish to include. This is a great way to make new gardening friends, share a passion, and save money. It’s a win win situation for most gardeners who are constantly waging war on the high costs that can be involved in gardening.
Native Plants will thrive
Select plants that are native to your area for your summer garden. This is a huge money saver that is often overlooked. The costs of non-native plants can be excessive in the best of circumstances and the added care incurs further costs. Keep costs down by selecting plants that will easily thrive in your climate and those that are locally cultivated. This isn’t an all or nothing proposition of course. If you absolutely love a couple of non-native plants, by all means incorporate them into your garden. However, if you are planning a garden from scratch choose as many native plants as possible for filler.
Mulching saves time and money. Really! It saves water to mulch because the mulch holds the moisture in. This lowers the cost of watering and eliminates many of the pesky weeds that crop up-which saves time. We all know that time is money and most of us despise weeding unless we have some truly aggressive emotions to work through that is.
By using all of the steps above you should find that you have saved a good deal of money in the planning and growing of your summer garden. Combine them with tips of your own that you discover along the way and next summer your garden should cost even less.
Read 15 Must-Have Gifts for Gardeners– do you see any you could get used or borrow from a friend?