As a single income family saving money in everyway possible is important. I can't usually afford to go out and purchase every plant or landscape material I'd like to have. Every penny counts. You might be in a similar situation or maybe you just want to maximize the value for what you can spend. What if you could buy one plant for $5 and turn it into 3? Or even more? This challenge is one of my favorite parts of gardening!
So how exactly do I save money in the garden? There are a few ways.
First I almost always start my vegetable garden from seed. It's simple and easy and the price comparison to a plant is huge. You can buy a pack of 25-30 tomato seeds for less than $3 and they will last a few years if stored properly. If you compare that to the single tomato plant for $3-$4 you can find in the garden center you can see the difference. As an added benefit you get to chose from hundreds and maybe thousands of varieties of tomatoes from heirlooms, organically prodcued, hybrids, or whatever types of seeds you can find.
The second way I save money in the garden is from plant propagation. I've already mentioned the seed method but division, cuttings, and layering are all easy ways for a gardener to expand his or her plant collection. Sometimes when I buy a plant I'm able to divide it right away into 2-3 different plants. Other times I make cuttings or pin branches to the ground (from plants like hydrangeas or vibrunums) to make additional plants. In many cases propagating a plant is as easy as taking a piece of the stem and sticking it in dirt! If kept moist coleus roots very easily this way.
Do you want a third way? Sure you do! How about plant swaps? You bring your extras (which we all end up with) and trade with other garden addicts for stuff that they have and you don't. You can find all kinds of passalong plants to fill your garden beds. This time of year it is also very common for people to trade seeds which is a great way to find unique heirloom varieties of your favorite vegetables and ornamentals.
Those are only three of the many possible ways to save money on plants in the garden. How do you like to save money on your garden?