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April 21, 2022 Personal Finance

How to Save on Plant Costs

For the green-thumbed homeowner, the start of spring brings soft soil, blossoming flowers, and budding trees. Tending to your lawn and garden can get expensive. Between seeds, fertilizer, and gardening supplies, costs can be high enough to take the fun out of gardening

Here are 10 creative ways to save money on plant costs, so you can have your well-tended garden and budget.

1. Plant Perennials

Go green with your garden by choosing plants that flower year after year. You’ll have to pay more out of pocket when you first plant these blooms, but they will keep coming up each year to brighten your home and garden.

The cost-free and work-free plants you’ll have each year will make it worth the price.

2. Make Your Own Compost

Mulch and other soil products may keep your garden healthy but can get pricey. Save money by going the DIY route with compost.

All you need is a designated outdoor bin to collect your old fruit and veggie peels, plant clippings, and dead leaves. Mix the compost pile occasionally and keeping adding things to it for a few weeks. Once you have started it, wait a few weeks to use the soil. After it starts decomposing, you should have a pile of nutrient-rich soil ready to give your garden the boost it needs to grow and glow.

3. Grow and Trade

For a colorful variety of flowers, plant perennials that will grow and multiply quickly, like hostas or daylilies. Within a few years, you should have more of these flowers and plants than you need. Then, you can trade them with friends and neighbors for new and interesting plants.

4. Propagate Your Plants

Grow your garden by helping your plants propagate. You can do this by separating an already growing plant into two and replanting it or you can root a leaf or a small stem with leaves into the dirt and watch it begin to grow.

You can propagate new plants in soil or in water. Do research on the specific plant you are trying to propagate in order to find out the best way to help it multiply. Find out more about propagating here.

5. Choose Local Plants

For lower-maintenance plants, choose species that grow naturally in your area of the country. You’ll save on extra watering, soil correction, and special plant food.

You may even be able to collect cuttings from friends or family, making a plant lineage to carry on in your own garden.

6. Shop Smarter

The plants in the nursery and home improvement store won’t look too attractive in the fall, but that doesn’t mean they’re useless.

Plants that look wilted now can grow beautifully in the spring, as long as the roots are alive and well. Best of all, you can score these healthy plants at bargain prices.

7. Leave Grass Clippings

Looking for an easy and cost-free way to improve your lawn? You already have one!

Just leave your grass clippings on the lawn after mowing instead of cleaning them up. The clippings will break down quickly, adding organic matter and nutrients to your grass.

8. No Short Lawns

Shorter grass attracts more weeds and will need more herbicides. Higher grass will shade out those pesky weeds while also developing a deeper root system, thus requiring less watering. Keep your grass at 2- 2 ½ inches for best results and adjust your lawn mower setting if you need too!

9. Time Your Purchases

If you aren’t growing your plants from seeds, you have more flexibility to buy plants later in the season. This can bring savings as local nurseries may run specials to help clear the shelves.

Nurseries and home improvement stores are always busier on nice days. Take your trip during a cloudy or even rainy day to take off the pressure of crowds. Being able to leisurely browse can help you pick the best for your garden.

10. Plant Your Own Seeds

Bought too many seeds to plant this year? No worries; you can save them for another year! Most flower seeds will keep well if stored in a cool and dry place. You can even buy seeds in bulk with plans to save the extra for a more cost-effective purchase.

You can also save the seeds from plants that you plant, for example, if you plant a sunflower, keep the sunflower seeds to be used the next year. The same goes for squashes and other seeded fruits and vegetables.

Gardening is fun and rewarding — and it doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. Use our tips to cut back on landscaping costs without compromising on the health of your lawn. Plus, use your new skills to introduce yourself to new neighbors and create a community for yourself.