Spring gardening on a budget
If you are a gardener or are thinking about gardening, spring is definitely a welcome season.
Gardening can save you a significant amount of money at the grocery store. If you are planting a produce garden, it can also add curb appeal to your home increasing your home’s value. However, did you know that there are some considerations that you should keep in mind to save money when planning your spring garden?
Be patient. While it may be tempting to start your garden at the first sign of spring, hold off a bit. You will want to make sure that frost season is over before planting.
Think about your yard’s sunlight. Before planning your garden, take several peaks at your yard throughout the day to get an idea of how much sunlight each area gets. Shopping for seeds or plants that match the amount of sunlight available in your yard is important.
Measure. Measure the areas that you are buying for before making a trip to the store. If you buy plants that are too big, you may end up wasting money and time.
Buy smaller plants. Smaller container sizes are the most affordable. While it may be tempting to buy a more mature plant, think about the satisfaction that you will get watching your plants grow throughout the season.
Use your own seeds. Keep seeds from the previous season of flowers and vegetables that grew in your garden. When spring approaches, plant the seeds in seeding trays and transfer to your garden when they are ready.
Keep your receipts. Did you know that many garden centers will allow you to return a plant if it dies within a year?
The only exception to this policy is annual flowers.
Buy perennial plants as they are going out of bloom. These plants are still healthy and will bloom again next year.
Make your own garden decorations. The checkout lanes of many garden stores are stocked with attractive garden decorations. However, these items are often costly. Instead of buying decorations, use what you see in the store as inspiration for a do-it-yourself project!
For information on flower and vegetable gardening, contact the Whitley County Cooperative Extension Service at 549-1430; visit the office located in Cumberland Regional Mall, 965 S. Highway 25W, Williamsburg; or e-mail DL_CES_WHITLEY@EMAIL.UKY.EDU.
Source: Jennifer L. Hunter, Extension Specialist for Family Financial Management, University of Kentucky; College of Agriculture, Food and Environment; Kristyn Jackson, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Family Sciences