DIY · Financial Advice · In the Garden · Organizing · Tip-ical Tuesday

10 Tips to Gardening on a Budget

Gardening is one of my favorite hobbies and often is a form of de-stressing “therapy” for me. The downside? Around this time of year it can be very expensive…so, for someone on a strict budget, how can you manage you hobby without burying your budget?

There are All Sorts of Ways:

1.Plan your garden ahead of time. You don’t go grocery shopping without a list (or without eating ahead of time), don’t buy plants without a plan.

2. Grow plants from seeds instead of buying them already germinated.

  • This requires more attention & work to make sure the seeds stay moist, but it is much cheaper. You can buy many, MANY seeds for a fraction of the cost to buy 3-6 plants. Also, at most hardware stores, you can buy organic & heirloom seeds.
  • If you plant heirloom seeds, you can save some of the harvest for seed so you don’t have to buy more seeds for the future.

3. Get “give-away” plants from friends & family.

  • When people are splitting bulbs or perennials.
  • When they’re giving away seed pods.
  • When they’re giving away gardening supplies.

4. Get rooting hormone to use on cuttings you love in the wild or from friends/family.

5. Recycle & reuse old containers to plant new plants.

  • Kitchen containers like old coffee grind containers, plastic salad boxes, tin cans, yogurt containers, or soda bottles make great plant starters.
  • Wine bottles can be used as upside-down watering containers.
  • Plastic milk containers with holes poked in the lid can be used as a watering can.
  • Repaint old pots to spice things up instead of buying new, expensive containers.

6. Buy plants from the “sale” rack at the garden store.

  • Yes, they probably look terrible…but that just makes it even better when you revive them & make them look incredible (and you only bought them for $1)

7. Buy perennials instead of annuals.

  • You don’t have to buy all new plants every. Single. Year. And actually, perennials tend to multiple & spread, so you can split them & get more out of them later.

8. Buy from local, family-owned nurseries.

  • A lot of times, you can get plants that are just as good or better-quality than garden stores for A LOT cheaper.
  • Larger, local nurseries are typically geared towards landscapers who are trying to buy in bulk = lower prices.
  • Local area examples: Tarheel Nursury & Broadwell’s Nursery in Angier, NC (Old Stage Road).
  • Need mulch? Buy bulk from a mulching landscape company. Getting it by the truckload makes it much cheaper.
  • When the power company comes through to trim back trees, volunteer to take their tree mulch= it’ll be TONS of mulch…for FREEEEE!


  • My husband hates it because he thinks it’s gross, but if you do it right, it can save you a TON on potting soil. Just the other day, I mixed a pot half-filled with compost & half with potting soil. My plants are looking SUPER green, healthy, & happy.
  • Create a compost heap or bin outside.
  • Mix in the leftovers of things you use in the kitchen (**Nothing meaty/greasy/cooked/woody- these take too long to decompose or attract animals & you don’t want that!)
    • Fruit & Veggie shavings/peels
    • Grass cuttings
    • Dirt
    • Fur that’s been vacuumed up
    • Pine straw
    • Ashes
  • Fun fact: If you have any blueberry bushes…they LOVE coffee grinds for their acidity!

10. Use what you already have.

  • Don’t go out & buy new garden stones- use big rocks you (or your friends/family) find on your own property
  • Use cut down tree limbs to make fence posts for your garden
  • Use cut down tree trunks as pots- cut out center sections of them, fill with dirt, & plant beauties in it to add a little natural beauty to your garden.
  • If you have pine trees or hard-wood trees, use what they shed for mulch…don’t buy new mulch.

Gardening doesn’t have to be insanely expensive. Enjoy the garden without breaking the bank!

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