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How to Garden on a Budget

Some of the best gardens that you see on television, in magazines, and in your neighborhoods didn’t begin with a huge budget. It doesn’t take a substantial amount of money to start your backyard paradise. With the proper planning and methods, you can create a backyard space you can be proud of for seasons to come. We are going to take a look at some budget-friendly garden ideas you can use to make your yard go from zero to 100! These tips can modernize and upgrade any plot with ease.

Start with Seeds

When you are first starting with gardening, you are going to notice how much cheaper it is to start with a packet of seeds rather than seedlings. What are seedlings? These are young plants that have already developed from its seed. They can range from a few months old to a few years old, depending on what plant or crop you are looking at. You pay more for these small plants because the early work is already done for you. The seedlings essentially give you a head start to the season, but that convenience doesn’t come for free.

With seeds, you have to sow and maintain the early growth all on your own. For those who truly enjoy gardening, it shouldn’t deter you from purchasing your favorite seeds. The key to success when it comes to sprouting is following the proper planting directions. Adequate sunlight and water does wonders to any plant trying to establish itself in your garden bed.

Ask for Advice

You don’t need pricey gardening books and manuals to make you a better gardener. While they do come in handy at times, they are not necessary to have, especially if you are trying to keep your budget low. Instead, seek free advice from gardening professionals in your area. Most gardeners with experience can easily give you tips that have worked best for them.

There is a lot to learn when it comes to gardening. Even the most experienced growers need help now and then. You can also go to your local nursery or plant shop and ask the employees or customers who are there what they suggest when it comes to your growing concerns. You can scour the internet for tips and tricks that have been used by thousands around the world. For those who still want a book in hand, visit your local library for guides you can check out. As you can see, there are so many inexpensive options to choose from.

Find Cuttings

If you want to grow plants that are harder to establish when they are seeds, you can look for cuttings. These pieces of plants come from the leaf, root, or stem of an already matured plant. When they are cut off from this main plant, they can grow on their own. Roses, hydrangeas, and gardenias are just a few flowers that do well when they start in this phase.

Ask friends, family, or neighbors if they have a plant you have been eyeing for your garden. With their permission, cut a few pieces from the mother plant and pot them in mineral-rich soil at home. After a few weeks, you can see roots emerging, and you can soon transfer the new plant into your garden.

Garden Supplies

When you have a garden to grow and maintain, supply purchases can add up fast. Instead of buying brand new tools, you do have some other alternatives to think about. Visit online gardening groups on social media to see if any local swaps are happening in your area. Other gardeners may have the tools you need to complete a project for a steep discount or even for free.  You can also trade gardening tools you no longer need for other more useful items. Gardening groups in your area may have set dates where they do community sales. Call around to see what you can find.

In stores, try shopping the clearance racks for great steals. You can also purchase marked down supplies at the end of a gardening season, as stores try to get rid of items that are no longer in high demand for the rest of the year. Check these inventories in late summer or early fall. You may be surprised by what you can find for cheap.

DIY Compost

Make your compost instead of buying it at your gardening store. You can find easy to follow guides online or at the library. Most gardeners who make their own mixture follow a 50/50 recipe of “green” compost and “brown” compost. Greens include grass clippings, fruit and vegetable rinds, old plants, and filter paper. Browns contain paper, cardboard, twigs, and branches.

Find a location in your yard to start your compost pile. Regularly add the ingredients listed above to create a mixture your garden is going to love. The best part about making your heap is that you can have one year-round. Add only those ingredients that decay quickly without rotting or attracting invasive pests and insects.

Natural Weedkiller

As any gardener knows, weeds are typically the most annoying part of gardening. These plants can destroy your flowers, plants, and herbs in no time when they are not removed. While there are weedkillers you can purchase in stores, the best ones can cost more than you are willing to spend.

There are natural weedkillers that you can make with ingredients that may already be in your pantry. One popular recipe includes using one part white vinegar to eight parts water. Pour the mixture into a gardening spray bottle and apply it to the weeds daily until they die. When they are no longer alive, pull the weeds from the roots, and throw away the pile. You should never add these plants to your compost pile, as there is a chance they could root and start growing again.

Create Your Own Garden Design

You shouldn’t have to pay for professionals to come in and design your garden if you are capable of doing so yourself. These services can run you thousands of dollars for just the most basic work. Instead, do some research on the types of gardens you admire. Borrow books or print out guides that lay the construction out easily.

With a little bit of patience, you are going to find that you can create the garden of your dreams with hard work. Write everything down on paper that you learn so that you have references to lean on. You should allow several months of planning since you need to be careful and accurate in what you need. As you create your garden, start collecting tools and supplies you are going to use to get your plot together. Being proactive is essential.

In this same vein, you should also start planning for the next season. As you plan your garden design, also think about your bed maintenance. Start encouraging your used bulbs to continue to grow. Get rid of seed heads, remove decaying leaves and stalks, and keep feeding and watering them until the first frost hits.

Don’t Rush

When we decide to start a garden, we often feel like we should plant as much as we can all at once. This method doesn’t make sense if you are trying to keep your overhead costs low. Remember, gardening is not a one-season process. Serious gardeners know their flowers and plants can last several years with proper planning.

Start small when it comes to size and the crops you include. As your plants begin to mature, you can now look to add more foliage to your garden bed. If this is your first year starting a garden, you are soon going to learn that patience is key. Enjoy each season with the knowledge that you can only get bigger from there.

Budget-Friendly Flowers

Now that you have the basics of budget gardening down, there are many plants you can choose from to include in your garden. These plants give you a lot of bang for your buck and make your beds look gorgeous in the process.


Celosias are ornamental plants that grow colorful blooms. These plants are also edible with a taste similar to spinach. These flowers love the sun and well-drained soil. When you plant celosias, sow them several inches apart from each other. The roots don’t need much depth to grow, so allow a few inches per hole.

These flowers are great filler plants, as they add a pop of color to any area. They are also resistant to insects and other garden pests. As they grow, their blooms grow into different shapes across your garden bed. No two flowers are the same. Expect your flowers to show deep reds, pinks, creams, oranges, and yellows.


Lilies are well known for their powerful blooms. These cheery flowers are a favorite of many gardeners and flower admirers. The plant typically blooms between early summer and fall. With a range of colors that include pink, yellow, and orange, these flowers make a statement in any garden.

If you plant these in your gardens, be aware that the flowers do attract rabbits that like to feed on them. To counter this, either plant clover or use a repellant to help them stay away. As they settle and mature in your bed, you are going to notice the distinct fragrance that wafts from their petals. They look great in your garden and also look beautiful in a vase.

Jerusalem Artichoke

The Jerusalem artichoke is not what the name suggests. It is a perennial flower that has edible roots or tubers. These plants grow fast and do need some maintenance as they mature. When in full bloom, you can expect sunny yellow flowers growing from its long stems. These flowers attract bees and butterflies and bring life to any garden.

This plant needs a lot of sunlight to grow well. If it encounters too much shade, it becomes prone to mildewing. Any part of the plant that shows this decay should be cut and removed immediately. At its peak of maturity, the Jerusalem artichoke can grow several feet tall. It is up to you to prune and trim the bushy plant so that it doesn’t overtake your garden. When pruned, it is a beautiful flower to behold.

Pampas Grass

If you are looking for a beautiful plant that is unique in design, try the pampas grass. This plant is hardy and robust. It grows up to twelve feet high and has bushy foliage that fills in the sparsest areas of your garden. These plants make excellent hedges or screens. Gardeners should be careful when maintaining the leaves, as they can be sharp and can easily cut fingers and skin.

In the summer, this grass blooms with cream and white elongated flowers. As they sway in the wind, you can’t mistake the soft rustling that comes from its leaves and stems. Plant these by the handful and watch your yard transform into something incredible.


Heleniums are flowers that show their full splendor in late summer. They are easy to grow and usually reach a height of about four feet. These annuals have orange and yellow petals that attract butterflies when in full bloom.

The helenium plant likes damp areas with full to partial sunlight. If you adore daisies, then these plants can be a great alternative. With rigid and upright stems, there is no need to worry about staking. Let these flowers grow as big as you want them to. You can cut back on the stems when they reach past your desired height. These simple flowers pack a powerful punch.


The lamium plant is a groundcover species that can get the attention of any gardener. There are about 50 species of this flowering plant, and each one is just as gorgeous as the next. They require partial sun and produce small blooms that come in pink, purple, and white.

The foliage of this plant is just as attractive as the flower. The leaves are two-toned with greens, whites, and silvers contributing to their splendor. The low growing flowers bloom in late spring and early summer. Some blooms do continue to grow into early fall if you’re lucky. You may notice bees pollinating the plants as the flowers start to show. If you are looking for a plant that can cover a large piece of your garden, the lamium is an excellent choice.


Including an herb garden in your yard is a natural addition to make. These aromatic plants are some of the most straightforward crops to grow. Most herbs are pest resistant and don’t need much work to develop. Basil, parsley, and chives are just a few plants you can include in your garden bed. They are inexpensive but yield a high amount of greens that are ready for your recipes.

When established, most herbal plants require little water and can thrive in sunny to partially shaded locations. The aroma that comes from the stalks is pleasant and inviting. When they are ready to be harvested, you can either cut off the desired amount you want to use or dig out the whole plant for your recipes. Remove any dead parts of the plant and prune if needed. Regular cutting of the plant encourages growth and elongates its life cycle. These small plants can withstand a spectrum of temperatures and climates, which makes them a breeze to care for. It only makes sense to include these plants in your garden.

Inexpensive Veggies

For vegetable lovers, there are several cheap options to choose from as well. A lot of these plants produce food over several weeks and can be frozen for future use. Here are just a few of these veggies that are going to leave you and your wallet happy:


Lettuce is a leafy vegetable that does well in milder temperatures. These plants are perfect for salads, sandwiches, and any other recipe you may have up your sleeve. If you want to have lettuce heads growing all season long, take the outer leaves for your family’s meals while leaving the rest of the plant alone. These leaves are enough to feed your household for a few days. In the meantime, the plant can grow again. Within a week, the lettuce is ready to be harvested another time.

You can also plant a handful of seeds in your garden bed every few weeks to keep a constant supply of lettuce on hand. These greens grow so quickly and easily; you are going to want to have them year after year.


Summer and winter squash are inexpensive vegetables that do well in most regions. They are considered high yield plants and can grow large when properly maintained. Squash plants do take up a lot of space, so plan your garden accordingly.

The squash also multiply quickly and can feed your family a few times just off of one vegetable. There are so many recipes you can make with this vegetable, such as soups and bread. Plant this crop if you want something that produces delicious and quality produce every time.

Green Beans

Green beans are a fun plant to grow. They don’t need much work for them to produce either. You can eat them right off the vine, or you can freeze the pods for future meals. The leaves of these plants are also edible. They can be sautéed or boiled and seasoned with whatever you are craving.  It is an extremely versatile plant!

When you plant a few of these crops in your garden, you may be surprised at how much you get out of them. Green beans are known to provide pounds of food over one season, which is ideal for all of those gardeners who are planting on a budget.


The rhubarb plant is another crop that doesn’t need much work once it is established in your garden bed. The perennial plant produces food every spring with the proper watering schedule and sun. This vegetable can be hard to find in stores, so planting a few of these plants makes sense if they are something you enjoy eating.

If you plant more than one rhubarb plant, place them several feet apart, as they can grow quite big. You can harvest the stalks when they reach about one foot tall, and they give off a green and purple shade at full maturity. The vegetable works well in sweet and savory dishes and is known for its versatility in the kitchen.


Carrots grow easily when they are planted in well-aerated and loose soil. They can tolerate frost and grow best in spring and fall. Set aside at least three months for them to reach full maturity. When you plant carrot seeds, the roots need plenty of room to grow. If you don’t leave them with much space, your crops can become stunted or deformed.

These vegetables require at least a foot of space to grow well. Make sure there are no rocks or other roots in the way as you dig the holes. You can even stir in coffee grounds to enrich the soil. Avoid manure and fertilizer, as they can cause the carrots to fork as they grow. Give the plants full sunlight and adequate water. Harvest the vegetable when they reach your desired size. Little Finger, Nantes, and Thumberline are just a few varieties that work well in most gardens.

Growing a garden on a budget doesn’t have to be boring. There are so many ideas and tips to use that can make your plot look dazzling without breaking the bank. By following the useful advice laid out here, you can grow a garden that is spectacular to look at in no time. Remember to have patience when you are first starting out. A well thought out plan can not only save you money, but it can produce fresh flowers and crops well past a couple of seasons.

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