Play Real Farmville! (Frugal Gardening)

Posted on May 29th, 2013 by Discount Debbie

Farmville on Facebook? No thank you. I prefer the real deal! At least as much of the real deal as makes sense in my small backyard. 😉

For me that means gardening! Not only is it way more fun than an online game, you get to eat the rewards of your time and effort.

Gardening can be as frugal or as expensive as you want. But if you’re like me and trying your best to keep it on the cheap side, here are my tips.

1 – Plant what’s easy to grow but expensive to buy. That will make the best use of your time, energy, and financial investment into your garden. My go-to suggestions are salad greens. Spinach, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, swiss chard, kale, etc. They are all super easy to grow, some take as little as 60 days from sprout to harvest, and these healthy greens get pricey when you’re buying them every week so growing your own will quickly pay you back your investment and then save you plenty of money in the long run. Not to mention, it’s so much more nutritious straight from your garden!

2 – Container gardening on the cheap. If you don’t have a backyard, or if you’re like me and your backyard drainage drowns plants in the ground, or you just prefer to weed less, container gardening is an option for everyone. However, it does require a bit more investment up front. The good news is that you can skip the fancy, expensive planters and just use 5 gallon buckets instead. These can be bought cheap at home improvement stores, or if you have a friend at a restaurant or bakery, you can ask if they have any (such as frosting buckets). Just drill holes in the bottom for drainage and get planting.

3 – Dirt is not dirt-cheap, but it can be bought for less than full-price. If you need potting soil for your containers, or garden soil to amend your backyard garden, you’re going to have to get bargain hunting! I bought potting soil, big 1.5 cubic feet bags, for just $1 each after this rebate. But you’ll have to hurry because that ends June 2nd. Or perhaps you can save some money by putting together your own potting mix.

4 – Make your own watering can. I used one of those hard plastic orange juice jugs with the handle. I drilled holes in the cap and voila, I have a watering can for free!

5 – Make your own compost. Put those kitchen scraps, lawn clippings, fall leaves, etc. to work! It may sound complicated, but honestly you can take one of those 5 gallon buckets, drill a few air holes in the lid and along the sides, then add your scraps and leaves as you get them. Ideally, mix up the contents once a week. In a few months, you’ll have compost!

If you’re feeling a little more determined, find a few earth worms to add to your compost bucket. They’ll speed up the work and make your compost even better!

Happy Gardening!


1 Comment

  1. Anne May 29, 2013

    Thanks for sharing my post on ‘Easy DIY Potting Mix Recipe’. As you say, it’s so much cheaper and lasts longer than bagged commercial mixes. Great tips in your article! 🙂

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