Gardening used to be a money saving proposition. It still can be. By making small changes in the way you garden, you can save big money. All these little things add up over the growing season. Save money on gardening to use for other household projects. Or, put that savings right back into the garden. It's your choice. Either way, these small changes won't make your garden any less beautiful or productive.
Do DIY perennials.
Do you hire a landscaping service to plant annuals yearly? Why do you think they do that? It keeps you coming back for more, that's why. Do yourself a big favor. Switch to perennials that come up year after year without re-planting. Plant them yourself. That's two simple changes that pay off big. First of all, planting perennial flowers and herbs is a snap. You don't need a landscaper. Perennials will cost a little more up front. Still, it's nothing compared to the cost of having to buy annuals every year or hiring a landscaper.
Buy smaller starters.
Don't have time or space to start plants from seed? Thumb not quite green enough? Go ahead. Buy those starter plants. Just make one small change. Instead of buying the big, awesome ones, shop early for the smaller ones. Look for six-packs instead of individually potted plants. Doing so can save you tons of gardening money in the long run.
Get tools from estate sales.
There are certain tools every gardener needs. It's true, they have to be in good shape to be useful. Still, you don't have to buy them new. Estate sales are every gardener's friend. Older people tend to care for their possessions well. Plus, even if they didn't, a little steel wool and some elbow grease can have used tools looking and working perfectly in most cases.
Think before you shop.
Make a small adjustment in your thinking to save money on gardening supplies. Don't just run out the door to the nearest home improvement store every time you need (or think you need) something. Analyze the situation first. Is it a need or a want? Could you do without it? If not, check to see that you don't already have it. Gardeners are famous for buying things they forgot they already have.
Find a cheap substitute.
If you really need something for the garden, try making it or using found items, rather than buying it new. Broom handles become garden stakes. Egg cartons become seed starter pots. Untreated pallets become wood for fences and more. Cull lumber from a big box home improvement store can serve multiple garden purposes too. What do you have around the house that can be re-purposed in the garden? Use it and save!
Portions of this article were previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.