Gardening on a Shoestring

Even though gardening is economical since growing food or growing your own plants is cheaper than buying it, it can be expensive starting out or keeping up with the maintenance of a garden.  Growing flowers yourself will also save you a lot of money instead of purchasing everything at a garden center. Here are some fresh ideas on how you can get garden supplies cheap or even free.

Whenever I start a hobby, I have a habit of trying to make it pay for itself, one way or another.  This can be a challenge sometimes, and you may not always be able to do this. You can do this with Gardening if you work a little extra. For instance, if you want to grow herbs for yourself, why not grow extra to sell. You could dry the herbs; sell them fresh or as plants. Farmers markets are great places to sell your fresh herbs to.  It is easy enough to sell dried herbs on E-Bay.


Gardening on a Shoestring2

Facebook swap groups:

Look for gardening swap groups on Facebook in your area. These groups usually go by county but by swapping plants or other gardening items you can save a lot of money.  You may have to dig a bush or plant out of someone’s yard for the swap but it’s still free just the same.  This will help you get more variety in your garden.  I’ve seen plants, bushes, and trees being offered in these groups.


You can get lots of things for free or cheaper on Craigslist. Look under the free list but also look under the farm and garden section.  I have seen garden stones, edging, bricks and all kinds of plants for free.  You can buy just about anything for the garden on Craigslist.


E-bay is fabulous for getting seeds especially the organic seeds. I have gotten seeds for less than .10 sometimes on E-bay. There is such a variety that you can try some new types that you’ve never tried before. Grow extra plants in your garden for trading or to sell.

Gardening clubs:

These clubs are usually local clubs that meet on a monthly basis. It depends on where you live if you can find one close. You can do a search on the internet for this. If there isn’t one close, start your own meetings and you can incorporate gardening supply swapping at the meetings.


Here is a place that you can pick up things for free. Just remember, you should always give back.  Freecycle is one that has been around for a long time ( is a newer one that works similar to Freecycle.

 Wholesale Clubs:

Buying in bulk can be a good option sometimes. If you need mulch or soil, you can buy it at a wholesale club for an excellent price. You also can buy fertilizer there as well.

Yard sales/ Flea Markets:

You can scan your local yard sales or flea markets for pots, tools, or any gardening supplies. I purchased an Aerogarden at a local church sale for $10.00. These are selling for up to $200.00 on E-Bay. I couldn’t part with it as I had wanted one for years. I purchase the soil pods on Amazon which are very cheap for a bag and are the kind that are compatible for the Aerogarden.  I purchased the fertilizer off of E-bay which is also the compatible kind which made it so much cheaper than buying the tablets for it. Don’t be afraid to try products that are not made by the company that market the product. They, in most cases, work just fine and are a whole lot cheaper.

Farmers Markets/ Produce outlets:

These are good places to buy flowering plants, herbs, vegetable plants as well as sometimes trees and shrubbery.  You can usually get some unusual plants in these places as well at much cheaper prices.

Natural ingredients to use for soil nutrition:

Coffee grounds which have been used to make your coffee can be dumped into your soil as fertilizer. Wow, this will save some dollars. If you don’t drink a lot of coffee, I’m sure you can find someone who does and would be willing to save it for you. This will provide nitrogen, calcium and magnesium in the soil for your plants.  The only problem is that if you have plants that don’t like acidic soil, it will be bad for them.  Some plants that like this type of fertilizer are tomato plants, Azalea, Mint, and Fuchsia.

Egg shells will supply your plants and vegetables with calcium which is very important for growth. Make sure they are washed and crushed.  You can use egg shells for all your plants because calcium is needed by all plants to grow.


I never throw away yogurt cups as they make great holding tanks for young sprouting plants until they are placed in the garden.  There are lots of little containers you may be throwing away that would make a perfect little temporary home for those young plants. You can even make little green houses for seedlings out of some wide mouthed jars.