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Gardening On A Budget

Gardening can get very expensive. Potting soil, fertilizer, flowers, plants, and shrubs can quickly cut into a budget. But there are ways you can do your gardening and make your money go a lot farther.

First of all, shop around. Nurseries aren't the only place to purchase your plants. Most local grocers, farmers markets, and flea markets are excellent places to find great deals. One idea is to shop the end of season sales at nurseries and garden departments because they often get rid of current stock to make room for their new plants and shrubs in season. Plants are marked down significantly at end of season sales.

Also try shopping during weekday mornings and make an effort to cultivate relationships with nursery employees. They can be very valuable in your quest for sale items and markdowns.

Swapping bulbs and plants with friends, neighbors and family is a great way to garden with little or no expense. You can trade plant clippings, bulbs and other plant material. Just clip a small part of your plant to trade with your friend or  neighbor. This is how I got many of the houseplants I have today. They started out as clippings received from my mother and now they are full grown plants!

Try gardening with everyday containers. Let's face it - store bought containers can get expensive so why not use what you already have at home? Old wheelbarrows, tool boxes, wagons and various other items that you have lying around your home make excellent planters! Simply drill holes in your container and add some pebbles or stones before adding any soil to insure good drainage.

Recycle items that you already have on hand. An old baby changing table can be turned into a potting table for your gardening materials and tools. All you need is a new coat of paint and water sealer for it. Unused rocks and/or bricks make attractive flower bed edges. Dig a narrow trench around your flower bed and place bricks diagonally along the edges. And don't forget that leftover paint you have in your basement or garage can decorate pots and containers.

If you think about it, you have many resources to choose from to help you garden on a tight budget, so why not start gardening today?

Happy gardening!

Sandra Kuykendall-Lombard is a free-lance writer, artist, craftswoman, and homeschooler as well as a SAHM to a special needs child. As a free-lance writer, her content focuses on gardening, crafts, relationships and family life. She also holds a position as a Moderator and Community Leader at Baby University, an online parenting community. Visit them at:  www.babyuniversity.com

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