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How To Start A Garden On A Budget: Growing Food For Cheap


Some of the things I hear from people interested in growing their own food and herbs are centered around cost. How much money does it take to start your own garden? So many of us who struggle to make ends meet, or can barely scrape by to save, can view gardening as an expensive hobby, especially if you are still learning. 

There are times I have wasted money buying plants, without a plan on how to grow them, or the plants that simply died because I didn’t know how to water them correctly. Trial and error gardening without a plan can add to your budget. Learning from my mistakes, I wanted to share some ways you can start a garden on a budget so you can get started growing your own food and herbs for less. 

Tips To Start Your Garden On A Budget

1. Create A Plan

 Creating a plan to what you will grow, will help you cut down on erroneous purchases. Treat this how you would approach your finances. A plan is always better. Visit smart draw to create a garden plan. You can also get my full season gardening planner here. You can set your garden up using the square foot garden method.

garden on a budget

2. Find Cheap/ Free Planters/ Upcycling

 Find cheaper planters, repurpose old tires, and wood that you can use to create raised bed. You can also use cinderblocks, and 5 gallon buckets that you can get for free from some stores. Pallet gardens are also a cheap and easy way to save money. Find this tutorial for a cinderblock raised bed from I Save A to Z.

garden on a budget

3. Find & Use Seeds

Buying transplants from the nursery can be great for new gardeners in order get things growing fast, but if you can, try to save your own seeds and learn to grow from seed where possible. Seeds are also cheaper to buy. If you know other gardeners, consider hosting a seed swap. 

garden on a budget

4. Cheaper Garden Tools

 I have a small set of tools that cost me less than $50. For the first year, all I had was a shovel and some shears. You really don’t need much more than that. 

5. Compost

 Use your kitchen scraps to start your own compost pile. I have one currently on a balcony if you are short on space. Here I wrote about all the things you can compost. 

Read More: 50 Things You Can Compost 

things you can compost

6. Ditch the Chemical & Grow Organic

Buying those plant fertilizers you see in the stores can add to your budget. Use your compost and other soil amendments you can find to save money on growing your own food. 

garden on a budget
  • My cucumbers are on their last leg. I'm going to pull them up and start something else but I can't decide. 
Gotta find what u can plant in July/August 
  • The peppers turned red. Can't wait to make a hot sauce with these. 
  • Plants on my blouse. I keep dreaming of gardening while I work. I know it can be a full time gig some day. Until then, a sister gotta work. 
I wear headphones a lot indoors for some reason. I'm listening to affirmations,  sven bomar, or jazz. 

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