Gardening on a Budget: Eight Tips That Will Help

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It’s not unusual to hear about homeowners pouring all kinds of money into renovations and decorating for the interior of their home; after all, that is where they spend a good part of their time. But what makes a home inviting stretches far beyond the interior walls, as there’s also the exterior.

Creating great curb appeal isn’t just reserved for when you want to sell your home, it’s for any homeowner that wants to create that complete package starting with that initial first impression. It’s also for those who have a love of the outdoors and want to be able to spend time outside in a garden that they love and creates a sense of relaxation and happiness.

If you’ve decided that this is the year you want to tackle your garden and really get it in tip top shape, but at the same time you’re working within a fairly tight budget, then these tips are meant specifically for you. Here we’ll take a look at how you can create that garden oasis straight out of a magazine all while on a budget.

Decide How Much You Feel Comfortable Spending

Before you get too carried away and start visiting the local garden centers, it’s best to think about how much you feel comfortable spending. It may be helpful to look at your budget, any savings you have, and what you can realistically pay back if you need to borrow money. The backyard oasis that you’re creating is meant to be relaxing, not a source of financial stress and worry that will continue to eat at you.

Map Out a Plan

While a garden oasis is meant to feel natural and serene, getting to that point isn’t usually an accident. What this means is that you need a garden plan to work from. By doing this you’ll be able to figure out exactly what type of shrubbery, plants, and trees you need, as well as how much of it. When working within a tight budget you can also let the money dictate just how much you’re able to do.

The other benefit in creating a plan is that it will act as your guide determining which step comes next in the renovation project.

Look for Perennials Whenever Possible

Another tip is to focus on perennials rather than annuals. Perennials will come back each year, and expand in size. What this means is that you won’t have to constantly be planning things year after year. Not only that, but because they get bigger each year, you don’t need as many of them in order to fill up your garden. In fact, when you are planting them you want to be sure you leave the suggested amount of room between each variety so as to let them reach their full potential.

Consider Growing from Seeds

As you start looking around at the various plants and flowers, it won’t take long to see that many are more expensive than you may have thought. This brings us to the next tip – grow from seeds if you’ve got the time and patience. Seeds are always going to be much cheaper, and for your annuals they will work great. There are biennial seeds which will also increase your value since they will grow two years in a row. Examples of these include Hollyhocks and Foxgloves.

Start Making Your Own Compost

Compost is something that can really make your garden thrive, but it can also be pretty pricey to purchase. So why not make your own? Even if you aren’t able to produce enough for your entire garden, any bit you can make will help cut down on the expense. Making your own compost is relatively easy, and there are plenty of guides and tutorials available online.

Make Use of Mulch to Cut Down on Water

Obviously, you want to be sure that anything you’ve planted survives and thrives, as well as the existing plants in your garden. In order to better their odds, experts always suggest spreading a thin layer of mulch over your garden. What this does is help to keep the moisture in the ground, even on those hot summer days. You can use a moisture meter to monitor your soil moisture levels. Now that doesn’t mean you don’t have to water on a regular basis, it just means the ground should stay moist in between waterings.

Stay on Top of Weeds and Insects

All your hard work and money investment will be in vain if you don’t stay on top of weeds and insects. Both of these can take over a garden very quickly if you aren’t on top of things. Regular weekly weeding is advised, and if you do notice an issue with insects be sure to speak to your local garden center about what kind of treatment you can use.

Use Your Credit Card for Those Unexpected Expenses

Even if you’ve done your best to save up money for your garden project, and you’ve been careful to stick to your budget, there will always be those unexpected expenses that pop up. In those situations, it can make sense to use your credit card, as long as you can pay it off. Remember, you won’t be charged interest if you can pay it off within 30 days.

But what happens if you’ve been labeled with “bad credit” and don’t actually own a credit card? The first thing to tell yourself is that you aren’t alone. In fact, according to Bonsai Finance, 30% of American adults currently have a poor credit rating. That shouldn’t stop you from getting a credit card though.

Services such as Bonsai Finance are able to help you find credit card options through their search engine that work for those with “bad credit”, so you can get approved. Many of these credit card companies also feature fast approvals, so you’ll be able to continue on with your garden plans in no time.

A Lovely Garden Oasis on a Budget

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create that lovely garden oasis of your dreams without going overboard on your budget.