Smart Ways To Save Money Growing Vegetables And Herbs

Growing your herbs and vegetables can get pricey after you build the beds, add the dirt, and get all the accessories necessary. It might feel impossible to grow a garden when you have a super tight budget and can’t afford all of the “necessities.” We will discuss more about ways to save money growing vegetables and herbs in this post.

Living on a shoestring budget doesn’t mean you can’t grow veggies and herbs. Growing your own food should save you money, not blow a hole through your already tight budget. So, are you ready to save some money while growing vegetables and herbs? Keep reading!

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Start a Compost Bin

Making a compost bin can cost less than $10 if you use some wooden pallets and wire fencing. A roll of chicken wire costs around $5 to $7 and a box of nails is less than $2. Then, you just need a hammer and some pallets, which you can source for free.

Compost saves you money in a few ways. First, it’s less waste you have to toss into the garbage. You are saving the environment AND saving money. You can lower that garbage bill, especially if you pay per bag or per can.

Next, composting is like a garden superfood. Use it to amend your soil and add vital nutrients that your plants need to grow and flourish. Bags of compost in the store sell for upwards of $10 per bag. You can make it free!

All you need to do is put green and brown materials into your bin, and use a shovel to turn a few times per week. You can add all kinds of things, such as:

  • Eggshells
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Tea Leaves
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    Newspaper
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    Veggie and Fruit Scraps
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    Grass Clippings
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    Wood Ash
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    Dry, Shredded Leaves
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    Wood Chips
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    Straw
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    Dead Plants

Make Compost Tea

Now that you have your compost ready, you can make some compost tea. It’s not a tea you want to sip before bed, but its the tea your plants want! Place some of your compost into a bucket and fill it with water. Let it soak for a few days, then strain the compost out. What’s left is called compost tea!

You can use compost tea like a hydrating, healthy drink for your plants like asparagus, zucchini, cucumber... It gives them a boost they might not have had, which means more harvest for you!

Save Your Seeds

Purchasing seeds each year is an expense you don’t need to pay. Heirloom seeds can be saved for the following year. Saving your seeds offers more benefits than just saving money!

 When you save seeds, you should pick the seeds from your best plants. These plants slowly adjust to your climate and weather. Plants from these seeds handle the pests and diseases present in your area, and they also do better with the micro-flora and fauna in your area.

All of that means, saving your seeds results in stronger plants that are going to produce more for you. Score! Plus, you save at least $100 a year!

Start Your Seedlings

Plants in the store can cost anywhere from $3 to $6 each. That’s fine if you only want to grow ten or fewer plants. However, if you are going to grow hundreds of plants, there is NO WAY you can afford to purchase all of the seedlings at the store.

Instead, learn how to start seeds inside of your home. While it might seem scary, starting seeds is easy. Here are some simple tips!

  • Seedlings need warmth to germinate. Consider using a warming pad or keeping them in your oven (turned off) because there are no drafts!
  • Keep the lights close to your plants at first and slowly raise them as your plants grow.
  • Fertilize the seedlings about three weeks after sprouting.
  • Remember to harden them off slowly before moving them outside. That means slowly introducing them to the sun and wind. First, bring them outside on an overcast day for an hour, then slowly increase the length of time.
seedlings

Don’t Buy Lots of Equipment

Sure, you can go buy all of the equipment possible, like fancy tillers. Those working with a tight budget need to rely on muscle power more than equipment. There are just a few tools you actually need, such as:

  • Hoe
  • Spade
  • Trowel
  • Hose
  • Hand Pointing Right
    Wheelbarrow

On the bright side, using more hand tools and your muscles means you don’t need to spend money on a gym membership.

Make Fertilizers From Free Sources

Fertilizers are a food source for your garden. They help contribute the nutrients that your plants need to grow. You can go to the store and purchase bags of fertilizers, but you can make fertilizers at home as well!

One of the best fertilizers (and organic mulch) is grass clippings. You have a never-ending source if you have a lawn. Grass clippings contribute nitrogen to the soil as they decompose.

Collect Rainwater

One of the priciest parts of gardening is the cost of watering your garden is watering. Rainwater Harvesting is a great way to save some money and keep your plants healthier.

Rainwater doesn’t contain chlorine or other contaminants that treated water might have. Plus, it's free!

Buy in Bulk

Another expensive part of building a vegetable and herb garden is filling the beds with dirt. Buying dozens of bags of dirt from your local garden store, but that’s going to cost you hundreds of dollars. Each garden bed will need several bags of dirt.

Instead, call a local nursery and ask about the price of delivering dirt in bulk. Most places deliver for a fantastic price. Buying dirt in bulk isn’t a smart idea if you just need to fill in a bit, but it should be the route you pick if you need to fill several garden beds at one time.

Try a Seed Swap

Shopping for seeds is fun, but organizing a seed swap lets you get different seeds for free. It is essentially a party where everyone comes with the seeds they’ve saved from the year before and trades them. You can try out new plants without having to spend a penny, and this is another reason to save those seeds!

Take Cuttings

If you want to grow blueberry bushes or trees, you might want to consider taking cuttings. Some things don’t grow as well from seeds and are propagated through cuttings. Find someone with the desired plant and take a few pencil-size cuttings. Put the cuttings into a pot of moist perlite, and you’ll see roots developing within a few weeks!

Use Free Organic Mulch

Mulch is fantastic for your garden. It helps to retain moisture in the soil, regulate soil temperatures, prevent erosion, and contribute nutrients to your plants. While you could purchase mulch at the store, you have several options available at home!

Organic mulch options include:

  • Shredded leaves
  • Grass clippings
  • Newspaper
  • Compost
  • Hand Pointing Right
    Wood chips
  • Hand Pointing Right
    Straw

Over time, these items decompose and their nutrients seep back into the soil. Plus, mulch helps to suppress the weeds trying to overtake your garden beds. No one likes to pull weeds, so mulch saves you time!

Retain moisture also helps you save money because it means you don’t need to water as often. You can source all of these from your house or from local farmers. For wood chips, contact a local lumber yard to see if they will give you wood chips from their mill!

Growing vegetables and herbs save you money and time, but it doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg to start up a garden. Use these 11 tips to save money while growing vegetables and herbs, plus these tips also help to contribute additional nutrients to your soil. This year, you’ll have the largest harvest yet!

Smart Ways To Save Money Growing Vegetables And Herbs
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Tina Martino
 

My passion is gardening. Along with my husband and children, each year we grow a garden large enough to provide our family of five with over half of our needed produce. Besides vegetables and a small berry patch, I also focus my attention on beautifying our home with strategically placed flowers, herbs, and flowering plants. Gardening is more than just a hobby; it is a way of life.