We dream of a day when every piece of produce we could ever desire is in our very own backyard. Getting there, however, takes time and one other key ingredient—aside from sunlight—money to invest in the items you need.
Gardening on a tight budget is actually much less of a hurdle than you may think. There are ingenious ways to curtail any budgeting challenges that may be limiting your field of vision. To help you create the harvest of your dreams, we enlisted the help of Burpee, a family-owned plant and seed company, who lent us a few secrets of the trade.
Trust us when we say that gardening on a budget just got unbelievably simple. Keep reading for five easy tricks experts always use to grow their harvests to their fullest, while keeping within their budget.
Save on Soil
Large containers—which frequently need changing—eat up hefty quantities of soil. But some of the soil you're emptying into containers is likely unnecessary for growing your harvest to its lushest. Soil, of course, is a component to gardening that every budget will have to account for, but you can save on the amount you use. The experts at Burpee gave us this ingenious tip:
"To save on soil in a large container, fill the bottom of the container with empty water bottles to take up space, and make your container lighter. Then, fill the top half of the pot with soil."
This simple trick is easy to follow, and you'll be seeing a difference in your soil use in no time. Herbs need only 3 to 12 inches of soil for their roots while carrots and lettuce require 12 to 18 inches. Other deep rooting plants are not suited to container gardening. According to EarthEasy:
"The top 6″ of soil contains the most nutrients needed for plant growth. This is because most root growth in vegetable gardens occurs in this relatively shallow depth."
When it comes to deciding what to plant, the options are endless, and you may be eager to start harvesting a bit of everything. Why not include more than one option in your container? Expand on the type of crop you plant, without having to stock up on multiple containers. Our experts recommend "investing in a hardworking mixed container for veggies to maximize your space and harvest." Grow a variety of products even if your space and budget are limited.
Every great garden needs an abundance of planters, right? Think again! Our experts suggest "thinking outside the pot. Grow your plants anywhere, like in crates, buckets, bags, and other objects, to save money on purchasing additional items." You don't need to go to a gardening supply chain to pick up each and every item—get creative with where you grow! Not only is this cost-efficient, but it will also give your garden a look that is completely one-of-a-kind.
Make Small Purchases
If you just started exploring the world of gardening, you may be overwhelmed by the seemingly endless amount of products to invest in. Don't feel like you have to make every purchase at once. In fact, the fewer trips to the store, the better—it's much less tempting to grab miscellaneous items that way. Create a list of exactly what you need and buy-in monthly hauls. Burpee says, "Spread out your gardening purchases. Start at the garden center and buy soil, then head back a month later and get pots, and a few weeks later purchase your seeds and plants. There will be less sticker shock, and you will still have all the items you need."
Plan ahead with exactly what you'll need, along with a frequency that works for your budget.
Share Your Harvest
Have friends and family who share the same passion for gardening? Burpee's got a plan you should consider: "Let your garden help with gift-giving! Share plants or your harvest with friends and family for a tasty and inexpensive way to gift." This is also a great way to exchange harvests and try out plants to consider for your own garden. Have an excess of tomatoes but need lemons? Make a trade with a friend! Plant-swap parties are another fun way to proudly show off your green thumb while receiving new treats of your own.