Make flower and vegetable gardening cheaper


Sweet Alyssum grown from seed.

Almost everyone likes the sound of easier and cheaper, including gardeners. Whether you are a long time gardener or just starting out, or look at gardening as a hobby or a necessity to grow food for the table, you can appreciate these tips. 

You can afford costly mistakes by researching what you want to grow to make sure it is something suitable for your area of the country. Use the internet to start your research. Be sure to look for articles and even comments on articles from gardeners who have done what you want to do. Dave’s Garden is one option. They will share their successes and failures, allowing you to learn from the experiences of others. The public library can also be a source of information from books to magazines. The part is that these types of sources are free.

To save money, instead of buying starter plants, buy the more cost conscious garden seeds. Sure, you have to wait longer to see the results, but you can save considerably. Better yet, and another freebie, dry seeds from vegetables you have already grown or purchased. With flowers, you can harvest seeds for planting the following year.

Speaking of flowers, here’s a cost saving step that will pay off in as little as three years. Buy perennials instead of annuals. Perennials will expand each year, soon placing them at a stage where they can be dug up, sectioned into parts that equal their original purchase size, and replanted. Three pint size perennials, periodically divided over the course of 10 years, can provide you with the equivalent of nine to 12 pint size annual plants. As an example, say you bought three annual potted plants for a total of $15. Three like-sized perennials might cost you $25. If you repeated buying the same three annuals over 10 years, you would be paying out $150. On the other hand, those same three perennials are still growing and expanding, creating new plants. Over the course of years, perennials are a more cost effective purchase.