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Penny Pinching Tips for the Low-Budget Gardener

For many, gardening is a hobby and for others, it’s literally their life. However, if you just starting out or run into a time of the year when you don’t have as much money as you normally would to put towards your garden, here are a few money-saving gardening tips that will let you partake in your gardening activities even on a low budget.

  1. Whether you need tools, seeds or tips, scour online sites, such as Craigslist,, and You can find items for free, or at the very least at a low price.
  2. Check out the library for free gardening books that can help you get started.
  3. Barter and trade with your co-workers, neighbors, family members and friends.
  4. Be creative. Tree trunks can help make a raised bed and plant supports and trellises can be made out of brush and branches.
  5. It’s more cost-effective to grow from seeds and it’s early enough in the year that you shouldn’t have a problem doing so. And, while you’re at it, save the ones that you don’t use this year for next year. You’ll need a foil sachet and a dry place. Alternatively, you can swap seeds with friends or split the cost and package – either way, you save some money.
  6. Take cuttings from your plants. Sometimes, the best and most beautiful plants come from propagation.
  7. Don’t be afraid to purchase second-hand tools. Generally, someone just got tired of the tool that they had and wanted a brand-new one, a luxury that you may not be able to afford at the moment. Unless it’s broken – and sometimes it can still be used after being fixed – it can be used.
  8. While the local garden centre is a great place to get the latest gardening tools, they are pretty expensive. Instead, look at your local supermarket and discount stores. You should also look online and compare prices. A great time to stock up on tools, seeds and more is at the end of the season when there are a ton of price reductions and fabulous sales.
  9. Don’t buy compost, make your own! If you aren’t sure how, there is a wealth of information online or you can get a book from the library. Ultimately, though, a 50-50 mix of greens (vegetable and fruit peelings grass cuttings, tea bags) and browns (fallen leaves, twigs, sawdust, cardboard) will suffice.
  10. Don’t stop at compost, make your very own plant food and weed killer mixture. Weeds can easily be killed with full strength vinegar and plant food can be made with a 1:8 ratio of vinegar and water and a 1:8 ratio of sugar and water.