Gardening on a Budget
We all know gardening is one of the best hobbies to have, be it for health, fitness or surroundings. But despite all of the benefits we also know that it can get expensive to maintain this hobby. With new plants, planters, fertilizers, soil tools and the list can go on.
Let’s see a few ways which can help keep the costs to a minimal and still enjoy the benefits.
1.) Grow from seeds: First and foremost, important part of gardening – plants. Without them there is nothing to grow. Right? Well, start at home. Save the seeds of the food you want to grow or buy the seeds rather than the plants which will be cheaper. Yes, it takes a bit more work to start from seeds than a young plant but it’s not impossible and give you a much more accomplished feeling watching those seedlings grow.
Also, regrow from the scraps of the vegetables. Like you place the leftover lettuce leaves in a little water in a bowl or tumbler and spray them with water regularly and place them in a sunny spot at home. After a few days, you will notice roots growing out of it along with some new leaves. At this time, you can transplant the lettuce into a soil bed. You can grow many vegetables like this from scraps like celery, lemongrass, potatoes, ginger, garlic. Similarly, you can use the seeds of the vegetables to help you grow them at home saving your grocery bill after a few weeks with a continued supply of your favorite greens like Avocado, peppers, tomatoes etc. You can even grow herbs like cilantro easily as well. Another idea is, to propagate from the plant cuttings. Find plants plants which you like and can be propagated from cuttings and check with a friendly neighbor or a friend who has that plant to help you with a cutting for your garden. Don’t get fancy start small and grow what you eat in the beginning.
2.) Homemade pesticides and soil nutrients: Nutrition and keeping the bugs away can cost money. But why buy those chemical laden pesticides or those extra pricey organic chemical free pesticides from store when you can just make them at home from your everyday items in the pantry. Check out this old blog which will give you all the info you need for keeping the soil rich with nutrients and pest free with homemade pesticides.
3.) Recycle: Not just plants, even the containers to plant them in can cost a big amount of money. Lot of people have empty cans ready to be thrown out and paint tins. Find out from your friends if there is a big container that they are planning to recycle. You will be surprised how many of them you might find. For small herb garden, just every day take out containers or spice glass jars and similar containers can come handy from your kitchen. Alternately, you can find cheap options at dollar stores for containers that you can repurpose as garden planters.
4.) Soil: Those big bags at your local garden centers can be expensive. You can dig your own at a location you are allowed to dig and get your own dirt for the plants. You can replenish it with the fertilizers from the local farms around you. Some cow dung added in that dirt and your plants will thrive with that boost, which is what essentially the garden centers sell you in a package.
While these are a few basic points to remember if you are a beginner in the gardening hobby. Going to community gatherings for gardeners or meeting people at community gardens will help you a lot in growing your knowledge and you can come back with a lot of helpful tips and goodies as well. Lot of people are always ready to help and don’t forget about swap seed meets as well.