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Money Saving Tips for Your Garden

Save Money

Save Money

Whoever said  “dirt cheap” never went to Home Depot or Lowes  for garden supplies.  A coworker was talking not too long ago how he spent $700  on dirt for his vegetable garden!

Here are some tips to making the most out of your gardening dollar.

1. Buy plants in small quantities. You don’t need to plant the Amazon rain forest do you? Buy only what you can plant right away, don’t go over board especially when shopping for plants online even though they are cheap!

2. Settle on a few good internet order sources. The variety offered by mail-order catalogs is inspiring, but don’t overpay on shipping because you order from six companies every spring. Try Direct Gardening and Blooming Bulb just to name a few. These have never failed me, are incredibly cheap and have a huge varieties.

3. Use local sources for heavy items. The cost of shipping heavy items can usually be greater than the item itself. Organic fertilizer additives , like bone meal, green sand and composted animal manure, are cheap but can cost a ton to  ship.  Check out local sources before purchasing this stuff online.

4. Search out other retail outlets. Though it may seem like it, Lowes and Home Depot are not the only games in town. A bale of straw at a nursery is sold as mulch and priced like mulch, while a bale of straw at a farm store is priced as livestock bedding. Ill go with the livestock bedding!

5. Keep an Eye Out for  free garden materials. Tree Limbs cleared from power lines are typically shredded. You can often get the mulch free from the utility company. Many community sanitation departments also give away compost made from leaves and organic waste.

6. Make friends with Pickup Truck owners. Delivery charges can really add up. Offer to fill up the tank, it will be cheaper!

7. Buy certain items in large quantities. You can buy large quantities of  compost from or mulch from landscaping centers a lot cheaper than by the bag at the home stores.  In fact, as much as 70% cheaper!  Bark chips and other mulch also come cheaper when bought in bulk.

8. Go for the small plants. Opt for small online plants instead of expensive gallon containers at your local stores. Perennials don’t usually take off the first season you plant them. They need some time to settle in.  The following spring, after a winters rest, perennials start to thrive and, typically  both big and little plants alike will reach mature heights at the same time.

9. Purchase late in the season or after the spring rush. You can save over 50% buying stuff at the end of the season vs the beginning.  Discounts on plants are common during fall sales. Plus, fall is one of the best time to plant.

10. Make your own gardening potions. A mixture of 1/3 ammonia and 2/3 water is deadly to slugs. See my aphid control article for, guess what, aphid control.  Do research on other diy control methods.

11. Mulch your plants. If you live in a hot and  dry climate, a thick layer of mulch will dramatically cut your watering bill. Regardless of location, mulch is one of your best allies against annoying and nasty weeds.

12. Make your own plants. Many perennials, like as sedums and many grasses, can be divided. Each will root. Don’t be afraid to divide the mature perennials already in your garden.  Not only will it give you more plants, you will also be helping the existing ones out.

13. Save on garden gear. An over priced piece of gardening equipment does not usually make you  a better gardener.  The  best tools are usually available for less than $10 at your local hardware store.

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