Cheap Garden Hacks: Tips For Creating Inexpensive Gardens

By Mary Ellen Ellis | November 14, 2020
by Mary Ellen Ellis
November 14, 2020

Gardening can be expensive, and it’s a lot of actual work. But there are ways to make growing a beautiful garden easier and cheaper. It has been a lot of trial and error over the years, but I’ve found some ingenious gardening hacks to simplify this hobby.

Creating Inexpensive Gardens

Creating a gorgeous garden takes time, work, and money, but it is possible to do it with less money. These cheap garden hacks have saved me cash over the years and made some of the chores a little easier:

  • Bury cheap, plastic pots. Burying garden containers is something most people do to make changing plants easier. But when using garden hacks to save money, this is a great option. When I buy annuals in those cheap, ugly plastic pots, I just bury them right in the bed. I can change out pots easily and save money on buying more expensive, attractive containers.
  • DIY container decorating. I’ve also avoided buying expensive containers by decorating the plastic ones. Use paints that are designed for painting on plastic. I use ribbons, pretty stones, and beads along with a glue gun to decorate them too.
  • Save on precious potting soil. Good soil is expensive. When growing plants in containers, fill part of it with other material so you don’t have to use as much soil: rocks, leftover mulch, old plastic pots, or even empty pop cans work well.
  • Make your own watering can. I have cats, which means I go through big plastic jugs of litter. Punch holes in the lid with a nail and hammer and you have a free watering can.
  • Free seed starters. Starting plants from seed is always less expensive than buying transplants. You don’t need any fancy containers either. I use paper egg cartons, empty toilet paper rolls, and even citrus peels to start seeds. For the latter, save two halves of your orange or grapefruit once you’ve eaten the fruit. The little cup is perfect for growing seedlings.
  • Share with friends. Getting new plants is one of the costliest aspects of gardening. Share seeds, cuttings, and transplants with friends and neighbors to get a variety of plants at no cost.
  • Make your own stakes and trellises. Instead of buying a trellis for beans or a tomato cage at the garden store, I use the sticks picked up in my own yard. Just look for straight sticks and be prepared to do some cutting and whittling to make them fit your design.
  • Cardboard box weed killer. With so much of what I buy now coming from online orders, I end up with a plethora of cardboard boxes. They go to my cats first, but once they’re bored of the new play box, I break it down and use it as a weed blocker. Just lay out sheets of cardboard between vegetable rows where weeds tend to grow. It’s a cheap, easy way to prevent growth.
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