Every Spring, everyone has the same idea- create a garden that is show-stopping and award-worthy. However as you sit on your back porch with friends enjoying the August heat, you realize your plan has failed. But it’s not too late! Here is a helpful list of tips for saving money on summer upgrades from garden pros, as presented from Huffington Post.
- Buy Small – Yes its true, large plants look majestic and impressive. But start small, not only are they economical but easy to care for. Small plants will also grow to a larger size over time (if taken care of properly.)
- Reuse & Recycle – A great way to start new seeds is by using K-Cups! Instead of throwing out the cups, reuse them! These cups are the perfect size for single seeds, and already have a hole in the bottom from being used. This is a great way to reduce waste, reuse and recycle. Another great way to save money on starting new plants is to see if any of your friends have cuttings or seeds they could give you!
- Team Up – You can create a “purchasing pod” with neighbors. This can save you about 20% when buying flowers in flats (bulk) rather then individual cell packs. There are also many online communities where you can swap seeds and plants with other garden enthusiast’s instead of purchasing new ones!
- Grow Your Groceries – Not only are gardens pretty, but functional. Kick it back to the victory garden days, and grow your own groceries! By investing a little bit of money in the beginning to start growing herbs, fruits and vegetables it will save money in the long run. The plants are able to reseed and grow from cuttings, which means you will have plants year round (if taken care of properly.)
- Spend to Save – Like mentioned before, investing a little bit of money in the beginning will pay for itself in the long run. By purchasing a drip-irrigation or soaker hose, you will save on water and energy later down the road. The more money you spend on quality equipment (like shovels, trowels, wheelbarrows etc.), the longer your equipment will last.
- Slow Down! – Buy your materials in small phases. If you purchase too much at once, you can get overwhelmed (and not to mention- it will be very expensive.) By buying in small sections, you can do a little at a time and accomplish tasks faster.
- Self-Seed – A successful garden is made up of a mix of self-seeding plants and annuals. By purchasing self-seeding plants, the garden will be self-sufficient (for the most part) and will take the pressure off of your shoulders. Self-seeding plants do half the work for you when a new growing season begins. Some plants that self-seed include Forget-me-not, Verbena bonariensis and Chrysanthemum parthenium. Always check your growing zone for information on special growing attention.
- Water Wisely – A great way to save money when watering your garden, is investing in a rain barrel! (You can read our post here on how to make one!) By watering your garden in the morning, it also reduces water loss to evaporation during the day. Remember to water the roots and not the foliage of the plants. The roots need the water more then the leaves.
- Keep the Trees – Did you know that a tree canopy can cool a garden as much as 20 degrees? This will keep your plants from getting dehydrated and burnt in the direct sunlight, it also helps with water evaporation from the soil.
- Make the Most of Space – Instead of planting out horizontally and covering your entire yard with a garden, think vertically. Space saving gardens have been shown to be very successful in urban areas, so give it a try! You can fit more plants too, by gardening both vertically and horizontally.
- Shop Around – Don’t buy the first garden tool you see, shop around and compare prices.
- Prep for the Pro – If using a landscaper, prepare ideas before meeting for the first time. Do a little bit of leg-work before showing them around the yard as well.
Thank you to Trae Bodge and Huffington Post for the original information. You can read more here.