14 Money-saving Gardening Tips

With the price of groceries steadily rising, vegetable gardening is becoming more popular. Growing your own food can help you keep your food costs down and have more control over the amount of chemicals your family is consuming. Here are a few frugal tips to keep gardening costs low:

  1. Buy seeds for the next year in late summer or early fall when the prices have been marked down.  Seed packets can be had for as little as 10 for $1. Store in a dry cool place until needed.
  2. Make your own natural pesticide by mixing a few cloves of garlic, a small chopped onion, a few tablespoons of liquid dish soap and a quart of water in a blender. Strain this insecticide mixture into a spray bottle.  Spray on leaves, stem and base of plant.  Keeps in fridge for several weeks.
  3. Frugal Gardening

  4. Buy a bunch of green onions.  Eat the green tops and save the white roots to plant.  After you get some growing just clip the green tops to eat and leave the roots in the ground to keep growing.
  5. Grow lots of vegetables in a small space with raised bed square-foot gardening.  Create frames with old wooden bookcases, bed frames or assemble with scrap lumber.
  6. Get free manure for fertilizer from the nearest horse stable or pig, goat or cattle farm.
  7. Use a eyedropper of weed killer concentrate right on the base of each weed to make it go further without any waste.
  8. Use grass clippings as mulch on your vegetable plants.  This cuts back on weeds and helps improve the soil.  Ask your neighbors for theirs.
  9. To protect tomatoes, berries and other fruits from bird-pecking, buy tulle from a fabric store and spread over the plants.  This is much cheaper than netting specifically made for this purpose.
  10. To save the most money plant vegetables that are the most expensive in the stores.  Our favorite veggie to plant is Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes.  These plants are prolific and the tomatoes are sweet and delicious. Leaf lettuce and kale are also good to plant.  You might not want to waste your space on potatoes unless there is an uncommon variety that you like.
  11. Plant more vegetables that grow quickly.  Radishes, leaf lettuce and summer squash can be ready to pick in 4 to 6 weeks.  Asparagus can take years to harvest.
  12. Save eggshells.  Crush them and place around base of plants.  These will deter slugs and snails and add extra nutrients to the soil.
  13. Plant a border of marigold flowers around your vegetable plants.  Marigolds help keep damaging insects in check.
  14. If you see wilted poor-looking plants at a garden store, ask the manager to mark them down for you.
  15. Save your paper egg cartons to start seeds in instead of buying peat pots.

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