Budget-challenged gardens

Garden Hacks: DIY Garden Ideas On A Budget

When you want a beautiful and healthy garden, it can sometimes add up to a chunk of change. I’ve been there, too — I want all the things, and I want them now, and I want them to be beautiful. I just don’t want to pay for them. While you might have to shell out a little bit here and there to get started, there are numerous garden hacks for those with strapped budgets — here are our top 5 to get you going!

1. Start a compost pile. Reuse kitchen and yard waste and turn it into valuable compost for your garden. Grass clippings, garden refuse, raked leaves, kitchen scraps, and newspaper work together in a pile to create compost that amends your soil and keeps your plants healthy.

2. Collect rainwater. Expecting a deluge? Don’t let that extra rainwater run off into the street! Set out 5-gallon buckets to collect it, then use it later for your container or bedding plants. Nothing beats water straight from Mother Nature.

3. Go garage-saling. Or vintage store shopping, or flea market browsing. The finds are endless — old patio furniture, pottery, garden art, and tools — and surprisingly inexpensive. Clean them up, add a fresh coat of paint if necessary, and enjoy a garden treasure by giving it a second life!

4. Have a plant swap. Got some plants that have produced babies, grown out of control, or that you no longer want? Organize a plant swap with your gardener friends — Bob’s agave pups, Diana’s wildflower seeds, and your daylily divisions can all make the rounds into other people’s gardens.

5. Make your own mulch. Good quality mulch can be very expensive, so instead of dropping your dollars on 20 bags, just make your own. Layer wood chips, pine needles, dropped leaves, and grass clippings onto your garden’s soil surface — it’ll amend the soil and suppress weeds while being friendly to your wallet.

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