Garden Thriftiness – 4 Ways to Save Money in the Garden

There are three reasons to grow a garden, be it a flower garden or a vegetable garden, and those three reasons in random order are: fresh flowers and/or food, landscape beauty and to save money. Since saving money is in the top three reasons, go that extra step and utilize some of these money saving ideas.

Buy New Plants at the End of the Season

It’s tempting to buy all the new plants desired in early spring when new arrivals are flooding the local garden center. Buy only the must-have plants in spring and wait to buy the want-to-haves until the garden centers slash plant prices at the end of the growing season. Be forewarned, however, that you get what you pay for. Too much time spent on rack in the boiling sun or in shade leave the plants stressed and leggy, but a keen gardener’s eye can tell if the plant can be saved. When buying a stressed, leggy, end of season plant, pinch it back to just above the first set of leaves to encourage branch grow and give the plant a good feeding before planting.

Use Trimmed Tree Branches for Supports

Many flowers and vegetable plants need supports and tree branches are always needing trimmed. Put the two together and get free garden supports. Save the trimmed branches and use the longer one as single supports for tomatoes and gladiolas. Use longer branches as a frame and create trellises by tying on smaller branches. The homemade, rustic looking branch trellises are great for supporting cucumbers, beans, morning glory and mood flowers.

Revive Old Garden Tools

Before spending money on a new hoe, hedge clippers or other garden tool, check out the tools you already own. Can the tool be revived with some elbow grease? Save money by forgoing the purchase of costly garden tools any time old ones can be brought back to life for another season or two of use. And when it’s necessary to purchase new garden tools, take a little time to clean and maintain them after each use so they will last indefinitely.

Save Money in the Garden with Volunteers

Not the type of ‘volunteers’ that first come to mind. Volunteer flowers and vegetables that re-seed themselves without any help from you. Marigolds, hollyhock, cosmos, poppy, black-eyed Susan are a few of the flowers that re-seed themselves and volunteer to come up next year. When you want flowers to volunteer for another season, just don’t deadhead them.

Cherry tomatoes are one of my favorite volunteer garden vegetable. Just allow a few ripe tomatoes fall to the ground during the growing season and a whole crop of volunteer cherry tomato plants will pop up next spring. Transplant the seedlings as desired.

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