Maintaining any hobby on a budget is not easy, especially one as large-scale as a garden. Gardening has proven to promote physical health for those of all ages. From children who do not get outside enough to seniors that are looking for a fun way to exercise.
It can also release stress and encourage mental health while giving you the satisfaction that you grew something. Not to mention the health benefits that come from growing your own fresh fruit and vegetables while saving money at the store.
The first step to saving money is to make a plan. Take pictures or create clippings from magazines of the type of garden you want. Only buy what you know you will use or eat a few months down the road; make sure it is in season. Collaborate with your family or roommates about they would be willing to eat. Ask if any of them would be willing to go in with you on expenses such as seeds. Seeds are cheaper if bought in bulk and they are cheaper than seedlings or plants. Keep in mind the plants that you can buy locally that will not require as much attention in terms of soil or winter upkeep.
Rather than splurge on fertilizer year after year, recycle what organic materials you already have to create your own compost. Add leftover fruit and vegetables or the grass you cut from your lawn. It will contribute to healthier soil, which in turn contributes to healthier food – while simultaneously saving you money. You can also surprisingly recycle your old newspapers into your compost.
It is possible to avoid buying anything too expensive for your garden. As much as you love the lilies at the nursery, you could find them cheaper elsewhere if you look in your local listings in the newspaper or on craigslist. On that same note, avoid buying an excessive amount of expensive tools. If you are just getting started, it is safe to say that you will be fine using either your hand-me-down tools or cheaper ones found online. Fall is just as good a time to plant as spring, and as a lot of stores want to avoid having plants for the winter, they may sell for up to 50 percent off in end-of-the-year sales.
Save on water by collecting it yourself in a water barrel when it rains. Keep in mind when feeding your plants with these nutrients, weeds will take in what you give it as well, so make sure there aren’t any. Check your soil’s pH to know which nutrients you need more of so as not to waste any.
Before you reap what you sow, you may need an extra head-start. Check City offers short-term loans that you can eventually pay back with the money you have saved from your new garden.
If you are hesitant to start this new endeavor, remember the health benefits that can come from it, along with the new group of gardening friends. Your home will thank you for it and your neighbors will love you for it.