There’s some debate online about whether or not gardening actually saves money. It’s a risk. I get that. Some ravenous bug could eat your entire crop of heirloom tomatoes. A hurricane could blow through without leaving a single pea pod in it’s wake. (How rude!) But there’s also potential savings. One article I found claimed that the author and his family produced $2,149.15 worth of produce in their home garden!
I’m super lucky that I don’t have to rely on my own agricultural endeavors to survive. I don’t know how profitable my first garden will be, but I’m saving on supplies in order to increase my potential profits.
Here’s how I’m saving on supplies for my garden.
- Containers or raised beds – I’m using containers and raised beds to save on soil costs and conserve water.
- Supplies for raised beds – To save money on creating raised beds, my plan is to use old barn wood. The barn wood is untreated and my beds will be shabby chic for sure.
- Gardening tools – I will be borrowing most of my gardening tools. If there happens to be a time when I can’t borrow what I need, I’m going to purchase my tools via Craigslist or yard sales. No need to buy new gardening tools, they’re just going to get dirty anyway!
- Compost – I must admit, composting is going to be difficult for me. I didn’t come from a family that composts and I love the thrill of throwing something away. So weird, I know. It’s a habit and I’ll just have to get into the habit of composting.
- Plant pricer produce & produce you use often – I use more bell peppers and onions than the average gal, so I’m planning on planting those. I won’t be planting eggplant because George hates it. I’m also considering planting something like habanero peppers because those little suckers can be pricey and after they’re canned, they make a great gift.
- Grow plants that can produce all season – Tomatoes are a great example of a plant that can produce all season. Plants that produce all season (or most of the season) invariably produce more yield. Look at me, sounding all expertish.
- DIY insecticide – There’s so many natural home remedies for garden insecticides. Did you know you can control aphids with a few drops of dish soap diluted in water? I had no idea.
- Rainwater barrel – I’m still not 100% sold on a rainwater barrel. We actually have well water so water costs isn’t too much of an issue. And I’m hesitant to place anything that can be a breeding ground for mosquitos near my home. But I’ve been reading about organic mosquito prevention methods and I’m warming up to the idea. Maybe I can make a DIY rainwater barrel?!
- Plant seeds for a higher return on investment – Pre-sprouted plants are more expensive than seeds. Instead, I’m going to try to sprout my own plants in old egg containers!
- Plant produce in stages – This is one of the smartest tips I’ve found in my research. Plant seeds or starter plants in stages over the course of several weeks. This has several advantages– it allows you to harvest in stages and consume the produce over time. If there is a freak frost it also may save your produce that has not yet been planted.
- Try the farmers’ market for starter plants – Your local farmers’ market may sell newborn plants at a discounted rate. I know my farmers’ market does! If my sprout-it-yourself method doesn’t work out, this is my back up plan.
- Share seeds – To cut cost, I’m befriending some fellow gardeners to share seeds. I’m also trying to convince some of my black-thumb friends to garden with me. Saving money and making friends– this should be a special on Saturday morning PBS.
How have you saved money on gardening supplies? Let me know in the comments!