It might feel like you need “all the things” to start a garden. That’s not true. Start small and start where you are. My first garden was a 4’x4′ raised bed made from pine boards that Home Depot cut for me. That bed lasted over 10 years and grew a huge amount of food.
Starting a garden on a budget does not have to be daunting. Good advice to follow is, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Here are 12 simple ways to start your garden without breaking the bank:
1. Start Small:
To minimize costs and workload, begin with a small sunken bed or container garden. It’s easier to expand later as your confidence grows. A sunken bed has minimal start-up cost and can be a very effective way to garden. To learn more, read this post about sunken-bed gardening.
2. Reuse and Recycle:
Use items you already have around the house when starting your garden. Old containers, cement blocks, and bathtubs can be used as planters to save money. Think outside the garden box and use the ideas in this blog post about creative container gardening.
3. Swap Seeds and Plants:
Swap seeds or cuttings with friends, neighbors, or online communities. This way, you can get a variety of plants for free.
- Seed packages often contain more seeds than you will use; split packages with friends.
- Learn how to save seeds so you always have some to share.
- Local libraries often have seed libraries where you can check out seeds for free!
4. Make Your Own Compost:
Composting kitchen scraps and yard waste will save money on soil amendments and fertilizers. This can be daunting at first, but begin composting kitchen scraps with in-bed vermicomposting. If you have a large amount of yard waste, learn how to compost in this blog post.
5. Choose Perennials When Starting Your Garden on a Budget:
Perennials come back year after year, saving you money in the long run. Some of my favorite perennials are asparagus, artichokes, and strawberries. Learn more about growing perennials in this blog post.
6. Grow from Seeds to Save Money Gardening:
Growing plants from seeds is cheaper than buying seedlings or mature plants. Don’t be intimidated by starting plants from seed. If they have good soil and you start them at the right time, seeds will grow!
7. Use Mulch:
8. DIY Vertical Garden Structures:
Building your own trellises, cages, and supports, instead of buying them, is a simple way to start a garden on a budget. Look around your house or garage and repurpose a ladder or other items. If you want to learn more, read this post about creative vertical gardening ideas.
9. Water Wisely:
Depending on where you live, water can be an expensive part of gardening. Water in the early morning or late evening to reduce evaporation and save on your water bill. Learn other watering principles in this blog post. Learn how to harvest rainwater (an article on that topic is coming soon!).
10. Choose High-Yield Crops When Budget Gardening:
11. Use Natural Pest Control:
Use natural methods like companion planting to control pests instead of expensive chemicals. This saves you money and is better for your garden as well. Learn more about successful companion planting principles in this blog post.
12. Learn and Experiment When Starting a Garden on a Budget:
The more you learn about gardening, the more you can save. Don’t be afraid to experiment and learn from your mistakes.
Remember, the key to starting a garden on a budget is creativity and resourcefulness. Happy gardening!