Reuse and Repurpose to Save Gardening Dollars

repurposed forks for garden labels Photo: Once More With Veggies

Everyone likes to see a few extra dollars in their bank account. Not only is saving money nice, but so is having a little extra to put into the things you enjoy, such as gardening. This is why saving money when growing vegetables is important, as it allows you to purchase the necessary supplies to grow more in the future.

Whether you are gardening on a budget or have unlimited funds at your disposal, most gardeners can appreciate not only monies saved but also items re-purposed. It could be that finding alternative uses for everyday items will create a great savings in your garden. Perhaps something you would have thrown away can instead be used for its garden benefits. Whatever the case may be, here are some suggestions for ways to save money when growing vegetables.

Have you recently had a party or social gathering? Chances are you had plastic utensils leftover that would have otherwise been forgotten about or thrown away. Instead of doing so, grab a marker and write the name of veggies you intend to plant on them, then use as garden markers to identify where you planted different seeds. What about plastic cups, bowls, etc.? And how about that remaining bit of beer that went unconsumed in cans and bottles? Combine these items to make a shallow container filled with beer that will attract and dispatch slugs.

Got some old, stained up t-shirts that are too far gone to be worn? Instead of buying twine, cut these shirts into strips and use them to tie up tomato plants. The t-shirt material is durable enough to get the job done plus it’s already served you well and been paid for, unlike twine or something similar that would be a new expense.

Instead of throwing away eggshells, put them to work for you. Eggshells are useful when it comes to pest control in the garden. Simply break them down and place around the base of plants to deter pests while at the same time nourishing soil with calcium. You can also use them to start seeds by carefully cracking them to keep most of the shell intact. Don’t stop there though; rinds from produce such as lemons and oranges can be used to start seeds as well.

Rather than buy watering cans, make your own! This can be easily done with plastic containers with screw tops such as some milk jugs and coke bottles. Punch holes in the lid to create a gentle stream of water with which you can water plants.

Coffee is something many of us enjoy on a regular basis. Once the coffee is made, grounds are left behind. Those grounds are far from useless, however, and can be used in gardens to aid in pest control and enrich soil with phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, copper, and nitrogen.

Photo: Lower Dover Field Journal

Photo: Lower Dover Field Journal

It truly is the little things that add up to big things, such as money saved. Each dollar you save can be put toward another garden use or project, such as seeds you really wanted to try or a raised bed upgrade. There is also the rewarding feeling that comes with putting less into the trash can at the end of the day. Whatever it is your heart desires, these simple garden hacks are a start down the road towards achieving your goals.


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