Spring and summer are perfect seasons to start a garden on a budget. Getting your hands dirty and growing fruits, vegetables and flowers is an ideal stress reliever for many people; however, the costs associated with gardening can quickly add up. Luckily, there are numerous ways to garden cheaply while still getting the most out of your space. Read on to learn how to get your dream garden by purchasing what you need, where to get it, and planning your space perfectly.
5 Essential Tools for a Home Garden
There are an assortment of gardening tools available; however, the beginner gardener can get by just fine with the following:
Whether you decide to purchase hand shears or loopers (long-handled pruners), sheers allow you to keep your plants nice and tidy by clipping away excess growth, dead stems, etc. The main thing to remember when using shears is not to go crazy with the removal as this can kill the plant. Finally, make sure you do not prune the top of the plant as this will inhibit new growth. There are an assortment of shears available, however, most people will be fine with a bypass pruner.
Depending on what’s in your beds, gardening can become a painful activity. Thorns and weeds can all cause damage to the hands—in addition to getting dirt under your nails. Gardening gloves will allow you to keep your hands nice and clean while working outside, protecting your hands all day long. Purchase gloves that are durable but not bulky, fit your hands and offer longer cuffs to protect your wrists and arms.
A trowel is best thought of like a mini shovel, and it will more than pay for itself as you garden. From digging plant holes for transplanting to removing weeds, a trowel will quickly become one of your most-used gardening tools. Look for a trowel that’s comfortable in your hand and made with a stainless-steel head for durability.
Leaves, debris and weeds can all make a garden look unseemly; however, a quality rake can make cleanup a breeze. While most people will remember the cheap, lightweight green rakes that used to dominate gardening, gardeners now realize the best rakes are a more solid metal design. While these rakes aren’t quite as cheap, they will last you for years to come.
Wheelbarrows make gardening in larger areas significantly easier, allowing you to transport large amounts of soil, rock or mulch with ease. They also make you put less strain on your back. The humble wheelbarrow comes in a variety of different forms; however, most people will choose a double-handle if they’re planning on lifting a lot of heavy material while a single-handle allows for more versatility and is easier to balance.
How to Start a Garden on a Budget
Now that you have all the tools you need for your garden, it’s time to begin planning and building your space:
If you have limited space or want to bring color to a specific area of your yard, container gardening might be the right call for you. Simply choose containers that fit with the scheme you’re looking for and plant flowers, vegetables or fruits (there are even smaller varieties of fruit trees for this) in containers for a beautiful garden space. Worried about watering? Depending on where you live, you might be able to pipe water lines directly into the containers.
Reuse What You Have
If you are the ultimate DIY-er, this tip is right up your alley. Look around your home for old furniture or furnishings that you aren’t using. You’d be shocked at how great a planter door can look or the versatility that comes with repurposing a nightstand as a garden table.
Squirrels, birds and butterflies are garden staples, and it’s important to create things that will attract them to your garden space. While we’re not advocating for a Snow White experience, adding or planting elements that attract wildlife creates a whole new dimension to your yard. Look to add a couple birdhouses, squirrel feeders and butterfly attracting plants to your garden.
Look At Veggies
One of the main things people love about gardening is the ability to grow their own food. However, many people also want a garden that looks beautiful with plenty of flowers as well. To solve this conundrum, consider planting bright vegetable plants among your flowers. Chilis and tomatoes are popular with many due to their bright, colorful fruits; however, berries and squash can create lively additions as well.
Grow Up, Not Out
If you have limited garden space, it can be difficult to plan a garden that fits everything you want in it. However, instead of looking to garden out, consider gardening up. Upright planters can allow you to utilize otherwise empty wall space either by offering a trellis for climbing varieties or with small pots scattered on a board. Furthermore, hanging pots can be placed nearly anywhere, giving pops of color to otherwise dreary areas. Once you begin gardening up, the possibilities are endless.
Create a Focal Point
Once you plant a garden on a budget, you’ll likely want to spend some time out there. Consider creating a focal point area that you and your guests can enjoy. This can be as simple as a conversational area with repurposed furniture to bigger focal points like gazebos, ponds or even an outdoor cinema space. Take the time to consider what you and your loved ones like to do and create a space that reflects those interests.
Gardening cheaply isn’t impossible once you know what to do. From having the five necessary tools to looking to create a garden that matches your interests, creating a beautiful outdoor space is likely more affordable than you would expect. Whether you decide to create a miniature wildlife refuge, grow enough fruit- and vegetable-producing plants to feed a small town, or want to make a flower garden that anyone will envy, following the above tips will help you create the garden of your dreams.
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