Our personal journey with How to Start a Garden on a Budget and save money while enjoying your vegetable garden.
If you’ve been following our family on my Instagram you’ve seen my stories of our gardening journey. We’ve always played around with a garden and liked the idea of having one – but building our house and life in general, time just didn’t permit in the past.
This year we have a little bit more wiggle room in our schedule and time so we want to jump back into gardening but more importantly make it a success.
As we are prepping for our spring and summer garden I wanted to pass a long a few tips we’ve learned here recently that have helped us in starting a garden for cheap! If you’ve ever done any type of vegetable garden or flower garden, you know that the cost can add up! You often ask yourself, surely I could buy all of this produce cheaper in the end….you might be able to – but with the tips I’m going to give you today in the end we’re hoping we save lots of money!
Our first garden we tried our hand at box/container gardens when we lived in our apartment when we first got married – the supplies for the boxes, dirt and plants certainly added up. Then our next attempt was here on our two acres and we bought all of the plants and pretty much started from scratch. The cost still added up…which is when the question lingers in my mind couldn’t I have bought these vegetables at the store for a lot less money and a lot less time!!!!
This year we decided it was time to get a bit more scientific with our gardening and if we were going to do it right we needed to jump right in with both feet and tackle it.
How do I start a cheap garden?
- Start small and then grow your space each year. Common sense here but the larger your garden space the more expensive it is with the cost of additional soil, fertilizers, plants etc.
- Start your plants from seeds. HUGE Savings!
- Find free compost and mulch. Oak leaves during the fall when people are raking their yards is a great start!
- Compost your vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grinds, egg shells etc. through out the year. You’ll be surprised at how many scraps you have – it certainly adds up!
- Use your muscles vs. going out and buying a tiller or any fancy equipment when you are starting out.
- Find a trade or swap group where you can swap with other gardeners in your area.
You will have some expenses to starting a garden but with time the expense will become less and less as you build up your tools and supplies.
Remember a wise way to save money is keeping your expenses to a minimum with purchasing only what you need!
- Use the soil you have – but just add compost, (free) manure or additional quality soil into your existing soil. Over time you will get a richer, better soil but start simple.
- Purchase your seeds – go with a quality company
- Fertilizer i.e. bone meal for when planting your plants etc.
– A few ways we made our gardening cheaper this year was to find a source where we could get free rabbit manure/pellets. Yes it took a little time and effort on my husbands part but it’s really good for your garden and it was FREE!
– We started all of our plants by seeds vs. going and buying plants. The hard part of this is just planning ahead of time. You have to plant your seeds sooner than you might think – simply get your seeds and read the packaging to know when to start your seeds according to your forecasted “last frost” for your area.
– Instead of buying seed starter trays use old water bottles, egg cartons or cups to start your seeds in. Use what you have around your house and get creative with these ideas –> Frugal ways to start your seeds.
As with anything gardening takes patience and time and so does saving money…but in the end you’ll win!