Easy and Practical Ways to Save Money, part 3

Exciting news! Part 1 of the money saving series was featured on Modest Fashion Network (Link will be at the end of the post)! I’m super excited about that:)

Today’s third and final post in the money saving series is about gardening and landscaping.  We know first hand how expensive it can be to beautify your yard, especially if that yard is an acre!

rp_moneysaving-778x1024.jpg

Flowering Plants:

*Instead of buying mature plants that are already blooming, spend a few dollars on a seed packet and grow the flowers yourself.  You will get far more plants from a packet of seeds and you will spend considerably less.  We usually start the seeds indoors at the beginning of April and plant them outside in late May.

*If you don’t have the space to start seeds indoors and have to buy plants, consider varieties that come back every year. Any bulb plant (iris, tulip, daffodil, etc) is a great option because they also spread themselves out.

*Buy plants native to your area to ensure they will grow and thrive.  If possible, gather some seeds from the wild.  But just be sure you only take a few seeds from each plant!

*Avoid buying plants at the start of the season when they are most expensive.  If you don’t have your heart set on certain ones you may be able to wait until mid season (usually middle of June) when the plants are discounted.

*Know your soil and the amount of light each garden receives per day.  This will ensure you pick the right plants for that environment.  You can even bring a clear baggie of dirt to the garden center and ask an employee to help you find suitable plants.

*If you have existing plants in your garden that you would like to get rid of, host a plant swap with friends, family or neighbors.  I traded some iris bulbs for sweet peas, hibiscus,  bleeding heart and more. I had friends that were looking for new plants, but you could host a plant swap at church, in your community or even with the people on your street.  If you are feeling extra generous you could even post online ads giving the plants away for free (which I did too).

Creating a garden

*If you need to buy soil for your gardens look into a bulk load from a landscape supply store instead of buying several small bags from a garden center.  When we built our raised bed veggie garden we ordered a dump truck full of triple mix soil for a few hundred dollars. That soil filled the raised bed, was used in potted plants, helped even out the grade of other gardens and more.

*Grow an organic garden by not adding pesticides to your soil.  I personally believe in low maintenance, organic gardening using NO pesticides, fertilizers, and the like. Part of that is due to my lack of time to spend on gardening but I am mostly concerned about what I’m putting into the ground water.  On a practical note, fertilizers and such can be expensive, so omitting them just means you save some more money. Yay!

*When looking for materials to edge your garden, look online for free bricks or rocks.  We found a plethora of rocks under our deck (they were likely removed from the soil when the lot was being excavated for building the house) that I used as borders for all my gardens.  This year David said he wanted something that is easier to cut around so I found some free bricks online.  Other options are large pieces of wood or even cider blocks. Pinterest has some great ideas for edging!

Vegetables

*Buy seeds and plant them indoors to start if you have the space. Or better yet, grow your own plants from the produce you buy at the grocery store.

*Plan your vegetable garden according to the space you have.  Keep in mind you will need room to walk around. If you plants don’t have enough room to grow they will not produce a good crop, which means you have wasted money.

*Be aware of what vegetables grow well together and which ones grow poorly together.  A simple internet search will help with that. This is important to know because you could end up with low producing plants,which would be a waste of your money.

*Save the seeds from your plants each year to start again the following spring.  This saves you from having to buy new plants each year.

General Yard Care

*Use the leaves that fall in your yard as natural mulch.  We choose not to rake at all and let the leaves decompose over winter and spring.  The reward is a healthy, green grass.  Same goes for grass clippings: we leave ours in the lawn to decompose and put nutrients back in the soil.  This means we never have to spend money on lawn care products, such as fertilizer or turf builder.

*If you are going to plant trees in your yard, choose native species because they will thrive better than an introduced one.  Native trees are often less expensive to purchase or can be grown from seed more easily.

*If possible buy plants, patio furniture and tools at the end of the season.  They are typically cheaper since the store wants to clear them out.

Once again, I can say that we have personally done everything I’ve mentioned above.  It’s hard to say exactly how much money you can save doing things this way but I guarantee it will be noticeable.  When I bought plants for the first time I easily spent a few hundred dollars. Most of those plants died because I wasn’t fully aware of the soil, amount of light each garden gets and the plants I bought only grow for one season.  Last year we bought a few key plants (I filled in some spaces in the shade garden) and this year we spent about $30 on seeds.  Our plan is to use as many seeds as we can this spring but save some for future years.  We will also harvest the seeds from the flowers and vegetables we grow.

Tell me your favourite way(s) to save money on outdoor projects. Are you planning any gardens this year? What are you most excited to see grow?

 

ps: I’ve been featured on the site below!

 

About Christina

20-something; rural dwelling; wife to David; homeowner; pretty good cook; wearer of skirts; friend to all cats.

2 comments on “Easy and Practical Ways to Save Money, part 3

  1. Hi Christina! Hope you’re doing well. I love this post and wish I had a yard to plant a garden in. We miss you over at TN. :) I love the new look for the blog!

Comments are closed.