7 WAYS TO GET seeds and plants FOR YOUR GARDEN ~ Free
Gardening can be an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to be. Savvy gardeners have ways of increasing their collections without emptying their bank accounts. Let’s look at seven economical ways to get more seeds and plants for your very own garden. If you would consider getting a little dirty doesn’t mean free then I apologize, only a few of these tips requires a little pocket change. Gardening has always meant getting a little exercise.
- PROPAGATE YOUR OWN GARDEN PLANTS
If you have time and patience, spreading your own plants is the best way to get exactly what you want at a fraction of the cost of a full-grown plant. For home gardeners propagating includes growing plants from seeds, cuttings, or divisions.
Annual flowers and vegetables are easy to grow from seed at a fraction of the cost of buying starter plants. In fact, many do better when started from seed sown right in the ground. Taking cuttings involves cutting a piece of stem, putting it in a pot with a light soil or soil-less mix, and keeping it moist until it grows roots.
You can divide most perennials and many shrubs by separating sections of roots and stems and planting these divisions in the ground.
- SAVE YOUR SEEDS
Seed saving is the traditional way to pass seeds from one generation to another. Besides being fun and economical, seed saving helps to keep heirloom varieties alive and makes you more self-sufficient. Seeds of annual and perennial flowers and vegetables are the most commonly saved. Seed exchanges give gardeners a forum for swapping the seeds they collect.
- SWAP PLANTS AND SEEDS WITH OTHER GARDENERS
Organized plants swaps are gaining popularity as gardeners seek new varieties. Plant swaps happen at schools, places of work, neighborhoods, and civic organizations. Folks get together and exchange plants. It’s a simple as that!
- SAVE PLANTS FROM CONSTRUCTION SITES
Construction projects destroy any plants that are in the way of the bulldozer. Many a gardener has rescued plants from building sites, transplanting them to their own gardens. It’s a good idea to ask permission to remove plants; otherwise you could be accused of trespassing and robbery.
- BUY AT PLANT SALES
Sure, so this one isn’t totally free. But still. Many religious and civic organizations, charities, and plant societies hold spring plant sales. Gardeners contribute plants, which are typically sold at very reasonable prices. It’s a great way to get varieties that you can’t usually find in a garden center.
- TRADE LABOR FOR PLANTS OR SEEDS
Perennials need to be divided every few years; after a while gardeners run out of people to give the divisions to and start sending them to the compost pile. If you know of a garden with plants you admire, offer to help with gardening chores in exchanges for seeds or pieces of plants. You stand to gain gardening tips, make new friends, and add to your own collection.
Just one warning: If you’re not certain of exactly where your new plants came from, consider isolating them for a few weeks to make sure they are healthy and weed free. You don’t want to take the chance of introducing pests into your own gardens.
And one important note: Many of our native plants are threatened as a result of development or over-collecting. You can contribute to preserving our remaining wild shrubs, trees, and flowers by not collecting from wild places.
- BUY SEED PACKETS AT THE END OF THE SEASON
Sometimes stores will reduce the seed packet prices at the end, or near the end of the planting season to almost nothing. If you are not too particular about every seed coming up using this method may surprise you. Just keep the packets in a dry cool place until next year, don’t forget where you are storing them as I have in the past.
Thank you for visiting, Have a Wonderful Spring.