As you may know already, I absolutely love gardening at home and the benefits it brings. It’s a sanctuary to me and a functional place to grow yummy, healthy foods!
My husband and I took on the task of gardening at home with the hopes that it would save us money, and it does. Sadly the savings weren’t as great as we had hoped for; after we factored in everything we were buying for the gardens, our time and preserving our food.
The costs of having gardens can really add up if you aren’t paying attention. Saving money while gardening has to work because farmers do it, so what were we doing wrong then? I gathered the expense receipts for my gardens and analyzed where we could cut back and do things ourselves.
5 Ways to Save Money On Gardening
There are many ways in which you can save money on gardening at home, however, in my opinion these five items are the most important and the easiest ways to save.
Save your seeds
- Stop spending money buying seeds year after year. Learn how to keep your own seeds from the plants you grow. This one tip alone can save you lots of money over the life of your gardens. Another more recent gardening resource to surface are seed libraries where you can give or take seeds. One of our local libraries began this initiative approximately 3 years ago and it seems to be well received.
Swap plant divisions
- A great way to save money when gardening is to swap divisions with your friends, family, neighbours or through online groups. Swapping plant divisions is ideal for perennial and biennial plants which come back again in another growing season. There aren’t many foods which we grow as perennials but dividing herbs is great for saving money on your edible gardens.
Make your own compost
- Compost is one of my biggest gardening expenses other than my personal time. The compost that I make at home does not supply my demand but it does help reduce my gardening expenses. I opt to purchase some ‘garden gold’ compost from a local farm which really enriches the soil in my garden beds.
Use free items as mulch
- Mulch is another expense in my garden that I’m looking to cut down or eliminate all together. There are many free mulch options, including: grass clippings (which must not be treated with herbicides); leaves, newspaper, cardboard and the compost you’ve made in the tip above. I mulched my gardens for the winter to keep the weeds from sprouting in the early spring before I get out there and used a bail of straw (which cost me $5 off a local farmer). This one bail covered all of my garden beds and containers with some to spare. If I buy bags of organic mulch I need a minimum of 8 at roughly $7 per bag. So just changing this one thing in my garden saved me roughly $51 for the growing season.
Collect rain water
- I love visiting farms and gathering ideas or just appreciating the garden setup of the farmer. A couple of years ago I visited the farm where I get my huge Spanish onions (they’re great for making homemade onion rings); and I couldn’t help but admire the ingenious watering method the farmer was utilizing for one of his fields. His property has rolling hills, so he open harvests rain water into a holding tank that sits on the hill and then he runs watering lines down hill to the specific plants he wishes to water via this gravity fed watering system. Not only is this farmer saving the costs of the water, the costs of pumping and the costs sprinkling, he is also saving very valuable time that we cannot make back by working harder!
I love hearing from my readers, please leave me a comment below with your favourite tips for saving money while gardening at home. How are you saving money on your garden?
Photo Credit: Pexels.com