8 Ways to save Money and Still Have a Beautiful Yard ...

Gardening can be such a joy, but a terribly expensive hobby as well! The prices on some plants alone are outrageous! But I know a secret - well a few actually! You can save a lot of money and still have a beautiful garden, full of pretty flowers! How? Well, you must read on too see... here are 8 ways to save money, and still have a beautiful yard.

1. Trade Cuttings & Seeds

One fun way to get new things without paying anything is to trade off with friends and neighbors. Say you have some excess lilies in need of thinning out, and your friend has some irises in the same condition — offer to trade out! You can do the same with seeds and cuttings. If you do your research, you can root great plants from simple cuttings from other plants. A couple easy choices are geraniums and hydrangeas! Give it a try!

2. Use Creative Pots

You don't have to go out and spend a fortune on expensive planting pots! All you need is a little creativity. I found a website that mentioned using such things as old tires, cracked bird baths, even old shoes! They make rather cute planters that add some interest to your garden. The rule is, "if it holds dirt, it's a planter!"

3. Watch for Sales

Stores like Lowe's and Walmart can only keep their flowers pretty in their starter containers for a short while. Once they start wilting, it's time to mark them down, and that's when to buy them. Once you transplant them in some fertilizer-rich soil, they will spruce right back up and be ready for beauty! And just think, you only paid half-price. Also, when bulb planting season goes out, you can get them on clearance and put them up for next season, or even plant them for next year.

4. New Edging

It's essential for some flower beds to have something around them to keep the dirt in, but who said that they have to be those expensive decorated blocks at the store? Why not just use old logs from the woods? Or even large rocks from the strip pit down the road? Use the things nature gave you to make your edging, and you will save yourself some money - lots of money!

5. Compost

Why go out and buy Miracle Grow when you've got a compost pile? Use your table scraps to create rich fertilized dirt for your plants. You can also go down the road to the farmer and get a bucket or two of cow... umm... junk, and use it. It's great fertilizer!

6. Rain Water

Harvest your rain water to water your plants in the dry spells. Place buckets under gutters, and have a large barrel to store it in. You can also buy systems especially designed for collecting rain water, though I don't know that the money saved equals to once the equipment is bought.

7. Buy Small

Just because you buy a larger plant doesn't mean you got a better plant. Statistics show that the success rate is higher with the plants that were bought smaller (which cost less) than the larger of the same type of plant. Why pay double? Just have patience, and in less than a year, your smaller plant will be the same size as the one double in size and price!

8. Look for Catalog Deals

I love to shop in the Breck's catalog and Spring Hill's. Sometimes, I will get a coupon for $25 off any order. If your order is less than $25, you get if for free! I just ordered a hydrangea and a butterfly bush, and all I have to pay is $4.98! Can't beat a deal like that, can you?

Gardening can be fun and inexpensive if you play your cards right and have a little patience. Think you're up for it? Good luck! Do you have any money-saving gardening tips to share? Please do! I'm always looking for more ways to save!

Top Photo Credit: kmrphotography