Happy Spring! It’s time to get back in the garden and get things into shape. But you’re on a budget, you say? Me, too! Here are some ways I get gardening supplies for free (or cheap).
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Try your local FB Group
If your neighborhood has its own Facebook group, start there. If not, join your local Buy Nothing group. Ours is super active!
Every spring season, as the community is prepping their yards and gardens, the freebies come out! Many people will list leftover supplies such as pavers, tomato cages, etc.
I’ve received plants from gardeners thinning out their large hostas, and I’ve even seen bushes and trees offered.
If you’re not familiar with it, the Buy Nothing Project is an international organization that keeps items out of the landfills while building communities.
You can request gardening items you’re looking for, but please offer up some of your own items first.
Use what you have
Before you rush out to spend money, check your basement and shed for items you can reuse or re-purpose.
You may have plastic containers, buckets, or recyclables that can be used for gardening. I love how MrBrownThumb used toilet paper tubes for seedlings.
Find free mulch or compost
Many counties offer free compost at the local landfill or mulch where they are trimming trees. You will need to bring your own containers and/or truck to haul it home yourself.
Check your county’s website or with a local rec center for more information. You can also learn to make your own compost pile.
Share or trade with friends/neighbors
Instead of renting or purchasing an expensive machine on your own, go in with a neighbor or friend and split the cost.
My next-door neighbor and I agreed to re-sod our front lawns at the same time, so we split the cost of renting a tiller, got a better deal on supplies by buying in larger quantity, and split the work.
We also have complimentary tools–shovels, wheelbarrow, etc.–instead of duplicates, so between the two of us we have everything we need for our lawns and gardens.
Find seed and plant exchanges
There are plenty of exchange groups online, but it’s smart to find one local to you to be sure the plants are appropriate for your climate.
Look for local seed or plant exchange programs where gardeners gather to swap their surplus seeds, seedlings, or plants. It’s a great way to diversify your garden without spending money.
Give DIY a try
Before buying, think about how you make your own for a lot less. You can find instructions for everything on the internet, and sometimes it’s worth your time and effort vs. the money.
Remember, gardening doesn’t have to be expensive. With a bit of creativity and resourcefulness, you can find affordable or even free supplies to help you get started or expand your garden.