10 Frugal Tips To Start A Garden

I’ve definitely got spring fever and can’t wait for it to warm up so that I can get my hands in the dirt.

But I know some folks are just starting a garden, and don’t want to spend any more than they have to to get that garden of their dreams.

So here are some frugal pointers to start your garden.

1. Join a garden club or a group that swaps seeds

Generally gardeners are a pleasant and giving bunch. We love to share what we have with others. So if you’re walking around your neighborhood and you see someone working in their garden, strike up a conversation. 

You might get lucky and end up going home with transplants, seeds, or divided plants!

2. Put together a plant swapping party
Get your friends to bring what they have extras of and trade.  
3. Use what you have
Bought some garlic at the store? Multiply your purchase. Separate the bulbs and plant to get more garlic free.
Onions, scallions, celery and some lettuces can be reproduced. Submerge in water until you get roots. Green onions will be ready to transplant in just 3-4 days!
Here are instructions to “re-grow” food.

Click on the Source link below this photo for instructions.


Herbs that reproduce from cuttings: basils, rosemary, sage, mint, thyme, lemon and lime verbena, bay tree, hyssop and wormwood. 

Maybe you have a friend or family member or neighbor with an established garden who will give you some of these cuttings for your garden. 

Or you could offer to divide his/her plants for a few freebies.

And don’t forget seeds. Herb seeds that are easily saved are dill, basil, and rocket. Vegetables yield tomato seeds and pumpkins yield pumpkin seeds.

When it comes to saving seeds, the best ones to save are heirloom and organic. Heirloom means traditional or local seeds that have been grown in a region for a long time. 

Organic seeds are those not chemically treated. 

Note: Many commercial varieties are treated so that you have to keep buying more.

4. Please don’t go to the expense of buying chemical products.

If you need to deal with weeds, you can always use vinegar or vinegar spray (watch and don’t spray on other plants as it may kill them too). 

You can pour boiling water on weeds. I’ve done this myself. Kind of rewarding to watch those weeds slink to the ground in defeat!

You can use plain cinnamon powder instead of a rooting hormone.

You can smother large areas with layers of newspaper. 

You can sprinkle salt around the perimeter of plants. 

And to keep cats and other varmints out of your garden, stick orange peels near your plants. 

5. Get It Right The First Time

A garden needs 8 hours of full sun per day to establish itself and do its best. 


So choose carefully where you position your garden, or you will be disappointed.

6. Follow Instructions

The seed packet or plant instructions will tell you how much sun or shade your plant needs, and how much water. Follow this wisely. 

It makes sense to plant things together that have similar needs, right? 

7. Companion Planting

Companion planting obviously means what plants do best growing next to other plants.

You can find an in-depth alphabetical guide to companion planting here.

8. Making the best choices on where to spend your money.

Here is an article on companion planting that could also help you make wise decisions.

9. Make a list and follow it.

Don’t get carried away and just buy one or two of one type of plant. Trust me, it won’t look good all by itself. And if you decide you want more, chances are there aren’t any left if you wait very long. 

10. Give a plant a little physical.

Look it over carefully.

Does it look stressed? Is it wilting?

Does it have a lot of roots coming out the bottom of the pot? A few are okay. 

Is the soil completely dried out? Then it’s likely the roots are already stressed.

Choose flowers that have buds instead of ones that are already blooming. 

Obviously, buy the healthiest plants you can find. Ask questions. Prepare the soil.

Happy gardening!




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  1. Thank you—great tips. I never heard of the orange peel tip but I will try anything to keep the bunnies away from my veggies.

    I buy my perennials in threes, or at least odd numbers.

    You will be out in that warm space you have soon. May for us.


  2. Fantastic tips, Brenda! Another valuable piece of advice? Dig a $5.00 hole for a 50 cent plant!! Give it room to grow and breathe! And I usually throw in a little Epsoma Plant Tone in the bottom of the hole and mix it with some of the soil to give the roots a good head start. Can't wait to get my hands in the dirt and get started this year!!

  3. Love all of the suggestions, sadly I have a very black thumb and I purchase plants knowing they will all meet their demise here. 🙁 Thanks for sharing at Your Inspired Design! Maybe some of my plants will make it this year!

  4. Where I used to live, I looked in the "Penny -Saver" type flyers in the Free items colum and on Craig's list for free plant stuff. I've read that one must be very careful now with Craig's list transactions. Too bad. Lots of good plant material from people re-landscaping.

  5. Great suggestions, Brenda! I find that around the Village people are always willing to share their plants! I hope to make some pretty progress in my garden this year. I feel like I've spent a long time working on the basics and now I want to fill it with pretty flowers I can cut!

  6. These are great ideas, Brenda. I would imagine that people who are new to gardening are shocked by how much it can cost if you don't know the tricks. The best is to share with someone. 🙂

    Thank you for joining Thoughts of Home on Thursday. 🙂

  7. Good Morning Brenda,
    We just began our garden last week and so far it is all seeds, I sure hope that with all the rain we received that they didn't wash out.
    What great tips, and I am especially fond of the one gardening and sharing with friends.
    If you lived closer, I would so enjoy having you garden with me!
    Thank you for sharing with Thoughts Of Home On Thursday too. We all appreciate your support and friendship.

  8. Great post! My gardening friends and I are always willing to share! Look for local Garden Club Plant sales and local plant and produce auctions. The ones here in Central Missouri are wonderful! It might take a little searching to find them, but they are well worth it!

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