How to save money on gardening

How to save money on gardening

Terrace gardening is like a regular investment. If done wisely it can bring profits. If not, it can be a big dent in your wallet. When you don’t have to think twice before buying stuff, you spend more than necessary and this habit can be a big problem on days when you don’t have enough to spend. I have been there and done that and it’s not pretty. The objective of this post is to learn about various ways to save money while enjoying terrace gardening to the fullest.

Before you know how to save money let’s take a look at where it’s going

  • Buying new plants/seeds
  • Buying new Pots
  • Buying tools/supplies
  • Buying pesticides/plant nutrition
  • Buying potting mix supplies like cocopeat, vermicompost, etc
  • Garden ornaments/decorative ascents.

Now add the word repeatedly at the start of each sentence to all the above.

Terrace gardening is trending so much these days that everyone is looking to get the above in the easiest possible ways and that’s where they spend a lot of money.

How to save money

Over the years after spending (read carelessly spending) a lot on terrace gardening, I learned quite a few ways to save money.

  • Recycle over buying new containers. We owe this to our ecosystem, our planet.
  • Figure out what kind of a gardener you are. Align your gardening objective to the real you. For example, if you wish to grow your veggies, focus only on that, to begin with. This approach will help you save money in the long run and avoid unnecessary purchases.
  • Buy local first then online
    • You will be surprised how many of the gardening supplies you need are already available in your city at a reasonable price. Should you need seeds, plants, tools, fertilizers, etc I would suggest that you search locally first, if they are not available then by all means buy online.
    • For a lot of gardeners buying online always take precedence because of many factors like where they live, availability at a local store, its cheaper to buy online considering the hassle, etc and that’s okay. But, you just have to make sure that you are buying from trustworthy sellers. Ask your fellow gardener friends if they had already made an online purchase.
    • Remember this is not just about supporting local business but saving your money & getting what you are looking for.
  • Don’t purchase, propagate, share
    • What is the easiest way to make your garden look denser with lots of foliage, flowering, and fruiting? You buy more than one plant or many sets of a plant. If you have a lot of money but little or no patience, just go for it.

But if you practice a little patience, you can practically have free plants. Here’s how:

  • When you are pruning your plants, take cuttings and make a nursery for plants.
  • Offer your fellow gardeners if they need a cutting and get something in exchange.
  • Check public gardens at the time of spring or before rains. They do a lot of pruning & maintenance and therefore you may easily get a lot of cuttings for free.
  • Offer free seedlings or rooted cuttings to new aspiring gardeners and in the future, they will become your resource for even more exchange.
  • Save seeds. Even though seeds are usually not that expensive but this way you will get fresh seeds every year which may help you increase your yield and help you save money.

Diy your compost

This one is a no-brainer. Use your kitchen or garden waste to make home compost. This will not be much initially but as you gain a hang of it then you will be surprised how much money you are saving by not having to buy compost and you will be doing a huge favor to our ecosystem by doing this waste management. Here are a few waste management techniques:

  • Compost making by kitchen/garden waste.
  • Bio-enzymes using fruit peels, vegetables & flowers. This also helps in eco-friendly housekeeping.
  • Leaf manure. As your garden grows, you will be able to collect a lot of dead leaves and make highly nutritious leaf manure. If you don’t want to make leaf manure, you can save dried leaves in a bag and use it for mulching during hotter months

Mulching is a simple process of applying some material (dried leaves in this case) to the surface of the soil. Reasons for applying mulch include conservation of soil moisture, improving fertility and health of the soil, reducing weed growth, and enhancing the visual appeal of the area.

Mulching helps a lot in saving your plants if you live in a hotter region.

Diy your fertilizers and pesticides

Regular food for your plant may become expensive over time. Therefore I highly recommend you DIY your fertilizers and pesticides. They are practically free as you get most of the ingredients from your home or locally.

You may buy a cheap tool to save money that may not last longer or may not work as intended because of poor quality and you end up paying more for a new tool again. This is a classic example of “Pennywise pound foolish”.

I strongly suggest you always buy the best quality product that you can afford. In the long run, the quality saves a lot of money and prevents headaches too. And mind it, I do not mean to buy an expensive product. Do your research well.

Grow that’s not cheap in the market

This one is a real gem. Let’s say you like to grow your food. Here is a small trick, along with growing your regular food items, grow food that is expensive to buy from the store. For example, you may already be regular growing green bell peppers so learn to grow red/yellow/orange bell peppers too which are quite expensive when bought from stores. You will be surprised how cheap it is to grow them at home. You will get to eat organic food and your body will thank you for that.

DIY first buy later

These days almost everything that you need to help you garden more efficiently is available in stores. Sometimes they are so ridiculous that you would laugh and say “Who on earth would buy this” but then, if it’s available in store, someone may buy it.

But I think gardening is no fun unless you can DIY a lot of stuff that you need.

Simple advice, when you need it, think of making it yourself first and if that’s not possible for any reason by all means, please buy. But if you can DIY it, you will save some money and in turn, you also get a lot of satisfaction and fun.

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