Gardening on a budget - Money saving tips

sumi

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I know we're in the middle of winter and dreaming about spring, but I'm curious to hear what you're all doing to save money in the garden/veggie patch.

Some things I've done over the years is:

Letting certain plants (onions, carrots, etc) go to seed, so I don't have to buy more seeds for next year's sowing.

Making my own compost, instead of buying in.

Using grey water in the garden to cut back on the water bill.

What else can be done?
 

journey11

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Save your own seeds! :)

Use recycled cardboard/newspaper and waste hay for mulch.

We have a cistern to water from, which makes it nice not to have to worry about running up the water bill.

Use recycled containers to plant seedlings. I save a lot of money growing my own transplants rather than buying them.

Trade perennial divisions, seeds and cuttings with friends and neighbors.

Borrow Dad's tiller so I don't have to buy one! :D
 

digitS'

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I will not argue with @majorcatfish about the economy of using soaker hoses but let's say you have sprinklers in your garden. What I suggest will makes sense for lawn irrigation, too.

Measure the water. Set out something like a cake pan. Use several or vary the distance from the sprinkler and do the measuring, several times. Time your checks so that you can use the clock for measuring through the season.

It's best to have some idea of how much water a particular sprinkler is putting down. Some sprinklers throw water widely, others do not. The amount of water passing through a hose may be exactly the same.

The weather will require some adjusting but if it rains, you can quickly refer to your closest weather station.

The rule of thumb seems to be that lawn grass needs 1 inch of water each week. My soil drains quickly and the summers here are arid and hot. My rule of digitS' is 1 1/2 inches for the garden each week. I like to put that down on two different days, 3/4 of an inch, each time.

At home, I have simple sprinklers for the lawn. You know, the ones with no moving parts :). They water small areas at a rate of about 1 inch in 30 minutes. You might be surprised how many people will allow them to run overnight ..........!

Steve
 

ninnymary

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Pretend you're teaching a kids garden class so people will send you seeds.

Joke!
This got me thinking. All my parents know that gardening is important to me and use it as a teaching tool. I always get a gift certificate for a nursery and $. I always tell my parents what I bought so they can share in the blessing. They know my 2 favorite nurseries and knew that I wanted a Fuyu persimmon this spring. Well I'm getting one!

Mary
 

digitS'

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Use "cookie boxes" from the bakery for seed starting.

The cut-off lid serves as a tray after the seedlings emerge. Before then, the lid makes a nice dome to retain heat and moisture.

Additionally, there is a requirement that the cookie boxes be emptied of original contents :D. Okay, berry boxes are also useful but require a piece of plastic wrap to cover the holes in the lid.

Steve
 

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