I get so excited and inspired when I see all of the beautiful colors. I rush to the nearest garden center – all ready to get the same look, only to be disappointed when I realize how much it’s going to cost me!
Underestimating the costs is the biggest reason most people start, but never finish their garden make-overs.
I’m here to offer some tips for gardening on a budget for those who aren’t ready to go spend their children’s college fund on garden supplies.
1. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses.
It’s natural to want to compete with those neighbors who go all out in their garden, but keep your budget in mind. The Joneses might be able to afford a $1500 garden make-over, but due to your goals, you may only be able to spend $100 or less. Decide on how much you’re willing to spend and stick to it.
2. Start small.
It’s better to have a small, well-designed and finished area in mind. Large areas can become overwhelming for both your time and your wallet. Decide on a small space such as a front porch or a patio and focus your efforts on creating the look you want there. Complete one space at a time as your budget allows.
The same also goes when selecting size of plants – smaller plants are less expensive. It may not start out at the desired size, but by the end of summer, it could triple in size.
3. Start plants from seed.
It requires more time, but starting from seed will allow you to plant more and fill more space than the already established plants that you can find in the stores. A pack of seeds generally costs no more than $3 and will produce sometimes hundreds of plants, while at the same time; a single potted plant will cost more, while providing less.
4. Choose affordable plants that provide the biggest impact.
Petunias are annuals that produce colorful blooms all summer. They can be planted directly in the ground or maintained in pots. They are heat tolerant and they even produce an abundance of seeds that you can replant the following year for free!
5. Grow edibles.
Mostly all vegetables produce some type of bloom – so not only can you enjoy the flowers, you can eventually eat the vegetable that it produces. If you start with seeds, you could grow virtually as many plants as you want.
6. Start with a garden plan.
Visit your local garden centers and ask them for garden plans. Most offer a colored sketch with a list of plants and supplies you’ll need. Once you get the list, get estimates and tally up the cost of the plants and supplies before you start the project. Ask for substitution recommendations for less expensive plants whenever necessary.
You can also check the garden plans on the Better Homes & Gardens website at: www.bhg.com/gardening/plans/colorful/hot-color-hot-weather-garden-plan/.
These are just a few tips to get you started. Your garden should bring beauty and tranquility to your home – it shouldn’t become an additional source of financial stress. Stick to your budget and work at your own pace. Neat simplicity goes a long way, so keep it simple and manageable. You want a garden that is an enjoyable source of relaxation and fun.
Image credit: https://flic.kr/p/9DsihA