How You Can Make Gardening Cheap

Posted on Jun 28 2010 - 3:26am by Mike Lieberman

One of the reasons that people won’t start growing their own food is that they say that it is too expensive. There are free and cheap resources out there, you just need to seek them out. Here are some ways that you can make gardening cheap, so that you can start to grow your own food.

  • Local Department of Sanitation or Office County Extension They usually have free events or programs throughout the year where you can get free resources such as compost or mulch. This past weekend, I attended an open house held by LA’s Bureau of Sanitation where I walked away with bags of free compost, mulch and a tomato plant.

    During the week, at nine different locations, you can get free mulch and compost (at certain locations) at . All you need to do is bring your own shovel and container.

    Most cities usually offer compost bins at a discount to their residents as well.

  • 5-Gallon Containers Check your farmers markets, delis and restaurants. Most will gladly give them to you because they are just going to throw them away. If not, offer up a dollar or two. These are great to make self-watering containers with.
  • Soda Bottles Unfortunately soda bottles are everywhere. If you don’t drink soda, then check your local recycling bin or ask friends and family to save them for you. You can use them to make hanging soda bottle planters or self-watering containers made out of a soda bottle.
  • Coconut Shells If you buy coconuts, then save the shell and you can plant shallow rooted herbs and veggies in them like lettuce.
  • Horse Manure Call up any local horse stables or riding academies to see if they have any horse manure that you can take off their hands. Most usually do and will give it away for free or for a small cost. It makes a great addition to compost.
  • Cafes and Coffee Shops Hit up your local cafe or coffee shop and ask them for their coffee grinds. Most keep them on hand to give out to local gardeners. The grinds works great as a fertilizer and help to feed the plants. They also make a great addition to your compost.
  • Beaches The next time you are at the beach make sure to bring some sand and seaweed home with you. If you are having drainage issues, the sand will help with that. The seaweed will really help to mineralize certain plants.
  • Free Tomato Seeds offers 6 packets of free tomato seeds when you send them a self-addressed stamped envelope.

These are just a few ways that you can make gardening cheap. Nearly all of these resources are readily available to you, you just might have to inquire a bit and seek some of them out. Lemme know if I can help you to find them in your area.

What are some other great local resources that can help to make your gardening cheap?