You may have heard that gardening and growing your own food is one way you can save money. If you are really looking to save, but in a financial bind, the idea of starting a garden seems like it might be an expensive endeavor. The good news, it doesn’t have to be and if you have even a very small budget to work with, you can get a garden going.
How to Start a Garden on a Budget
Be resourceful. Don’t think you need to buy all new equipment or even things made specifically for gardening. If you are going to need a trellis, for instance, look in the free ads. Many times, there are scraps of chicken wire, bed frames and other “garbage” that can be used in the garden. Don’t have pots? Why not recycle things that you already have at home.
Be neighborly. Ask if you can borrow a neighbor’s equipment if they have extra trowels, hoes, rakes or shovels. In exchange, promise them some of your bounty come harvest time. You could even decide that you could grow some of one kind of vegetable and your neighbor grows a different type and you trade and share.
Make your own compost to feed your garden. This does not have to be a huge bin in your backyard if you do not have the space. You can compost with just kitchen scraps and worms in a small, sealed container in your kitchen. Not only is this pretty much free (other than the cost of the container), but it will give you great results as it is pesticide free and organic compost rich in minerals for your plants.
Don’t raise your water bill. Instead, collect the rainwater that will fall this spring in barrels to use to water your garden with. You may not get an entire season of gardening out of it, but it will reduce the costs.
Plant what you already buy. Some plants, such as onions, scallions, celery and some types of lettuce regrow by simply replanting the roots. If you are going to buy them from the store anyway, you might as well have them reproduce. You might need to start new roots, though. To do this, just place the item where the roots are down into water and wait a couple days. Green onions are ready to plant in just 3-4 days.
Use vinegar to keep weeds away. Spray weeds directly with plain distilled vinegar to act as a weed-killer. Use care on where you spray it, though, as it can kill some of the plants you are trying to grow as well. To keep cats and many kinds of pests out of your garden, try sticking orange peels near your plants.
Look for other avenues to get seeds for cheap. You can often buy them online for very low cost and you might even have a friend or neighbor that has some saved from last season. Also, there are seed swapping groups online and some local. Look there for gardeners who may be willing to help you get started.