Even though we’re still in the thick of winter, I enjoy looking forward to all that spring has to bring. One of my favorite hobbies is gardening and preparing for the beautiful blossoms of the new season. This week I would like to share some tips for purchasing, budgeting and implementing your garden, before the snow has even melted.
Although I don’t always have success growing large, healthy plants from seeds, it is the most frugal route to take. Purchasing small plants is more expensive than buying seeds, and buying larger, mature plants, especially at the start of the growing season, can be very expensive. If you’ve harvested your own seeds from last year’s crop, you can get a head start on their growth with a windowsill tray. Using this method, your seedlings will have developed some roots and you don’t have to worry about birds or other critters digging your seeds out of the soil.
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Edibles like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants are easy to get started, along with flowers such as marigolds and delphiniums. Of course, if you have the same luck that I’ve had when it comes to starting your plants from seeds, going to your local farmer’s market and purchasing your small plants may be the better way to go.
Stow & Grow
I love to grow my garden in pots so I can add some life and color wherever I choose. When garage sales come around, you can usually find large pots for pennies on the dollar. If I need pots sooner than when garage sales usually start, I will either go to a discount store such as Old Time Pottery or use coupons for craft stores. In ads and online, Hobby Lobby (https://m.hobbylobby.com/coupon), Michaels, and JoAnn’s offer a weekly 40 percent off coupon for one item that comes out every week. If purchasing multiple items, I span my buys over multiple days so I have the opportunity to purchase all my items at a discount.
Using your imagination can also save you some money on planters. Make your garden even more special with flowers planted in everything from vintage teacups to seashells. A quick search for ‘DIY planters’ on Pinterest proves that you can make a planter out of almost anything. I have even seen gardens planted in tires, old toys and even cinder blocks! http://www.woohome.com/diy-2/top-30-stunning-low-budget-diy-garden-pots-and-containers
Using fun and funky planters to start your seeds will give you two fun, inexpensive projects over the cold months. So, don’t let the greys and blues of winters get you down. Starting your garden now will not only brighten your space, it’ll save you some green.
Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Tina Mapes is an assistant branch manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens.