How to Keep Your Garden Beautiful On A Budget

Gardening Tips for Beginners

Planting a flower garden does not have to cost you an arm and a leg nor does it have to take up your entire weekend.  There are some simple things you can do that are quick, easy and free.  And as I always say, if it’s for free, it’s for me!

1. Clean out the garden

Get your hands dirty.  Clean out those garden beds.  The spring is the time to remove all the dead plants and leaves from the harsh winter months.  You should be left with just your beautiful plants. While mulching your garden is beautiful, many times you can get away with simply turning the mulch over, fluff it and make it look fresh.

2. Divide existing plants

One of the best ways to save money on your garden is to reuse your own plants. There are many plants that can easily be divided and used in different locations in the garden. Go through your garden and look for plants that can be separated.

It’s very easy to divide plants. Simply dig up the entire plant and separate the root into as many sections as you want. Most of the time you will be able to divide it in half however, if the root ball is big enough, you may be able to divide into more then 2. Then simply replant your original plant and plant the divided plants in their new location.

Note that some plants may require dividing with a knife or garden spade.

Head here to view more information on how to divide plants and the type of plants you can divide.

3. Don’t plant too close

One mistake that new gardeners make is planting your new plants or flowers too close together. Sometimes when the plants are small, we tend to plant too close together especially in the spring when everything has yet to get to full size.  I am known for doing this way too often.  Resist the temptation.  Keep your plants far apart other wise you will have a crowded mess when they get bigger and wind up moving them all around.  Hmm, that sounds familiar.  Honey, can you move this plant over here and this plant over there. 🙂

4. Keep deer out naturally and inexpensively

A great way to keep deer out of your garden is to use hair.  Yes hair.  Deer do not like the smell of humans so unless you want to lay across your garden bed 24/7 you can use the next best thing.  Human hair.  So, the next time you get your hair cut, bring a bag along and ask for the hair clippings.  Spread them along the edge of your garden bed.

If that doesn’t work for you, I highly recommend Repels All. It works wonders. And, what I like about it is that it lasts even after it rains. It actually lasts for about 2 months before you need to reapply it. And it repels a ton of animals including Beavers, Birds, Cats, Crows, Chipmunks, Deer, Groundhogs, Porcupines, Rabbits, Raccoons, Rats, Skunks, Shrews, and Squirrels. 

5. Get rid of weeds naturally and inexpensively

Weeds, weeds, weeds. Sometimes I can’t keep up with them. But, there are some natural solutions you can use to help get rid of them quickly.

A simply solution requires the following:

Put all the ingredients in a bucket and stir to combine and dissolve the salt. Than simply put your solution into a spray bottle.

On a nice sunny day, soak the weeds. You’ll see them die down in about 2 days.

6. Make your own fertilizer

Epsom salt is a great alternative to fertilizer.  It’s made up of magnesium and sulfate which plants love, especially houseplants, roses, tomatoes & peppers.  And, not only is it frugal, but it’s also better for the environment.  Combine 1 tablespoon Epsom Salt with 1 gallon of water in a watering can.  Water your plants with this solution once a month.

7. And the last and to me the most important.  Edge your garden beds!

I’m actually amazed at how many people don’t do this simple task.  Which, in my opinion, finishes off the whole garden.  At the beginning of the spring, when you have cleared out all the dead plants and leaves and turned your soil and/or mulch, edge the garden beds.  Simply take a lawn edger and go along the entire length of the garden where it meets the grass.  It makes for such a beautiful defined garden.  I do it about 3 more times during the summer and fall.  Plus you can edge it with the garden trimmer as well each time you mow & trim your lawn.  Turn the garden trimmer on it’s side and move it along the edge of the garden bed.  You can also do the same thing where the grass meets up with sidewalks or driveways for a professional look.

What do you do to make your garden beautiful?  Share your frugal gardening tips!

7 Gardening Tips for Beginners

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  • Annabelle

    Does it matter what kind of vinegar you use to kill the weeds? White?

    • Cindy

      White vinegar! Works great.

  • Cynthia

    Love it! I prefer using natural products so I will use both the vinegar & epson salt on my garden this year. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sandi

    Ha, I remember this post last year. It was around the same time that we were cleaning up on Walmart and Lowes spring bulbs on clearance. Time to look again I guess.

    • Cindy

      Oh my goodness I remember your shopping trip. As a matter of fact, here it is. What a deal you scored! Are they coming up this year?

      • Sandi

        The asparagus is growing like crazy. The rhubarb and garlic I guess we have to wait for it, but my husband the gardener assures me that all the bulbs are doing fine. We were just at Lowes and there are plenty of perennials on clearance. They definitely come back, my yard is 95% clearance plants.

        • Alyson

          I LOVE Lowe’s clearance – earlier this spring I scored a ton of plants at 50 cents each because they froze a little in the later frosts that we had. I popped them in the ground and half of them are going CRAZY – the other half will go crazy next year! I scored some $1 plants at Walmart earlier this year – bulbs like tulips and hyacinth. Clearance plants are the best thing ever!

      • Heather

        Wow, that is a fantastic score! I just spoke to my husband about it (he was a landscaper in his late teens/early twenties) and now he’s excited to see what we can score at the end of summer.

  • Casey B

    Another frugal gardening tip – ask your friends and neighbors for any plants they may be thinning or throwing away. I have a friend who is always giving me plants that are crowding her garden. Her latest gift to me: a rose of sharon bush!

  • Jen

    Hi guys I found hanging baskets on clearance at shoprite for 60 percent off they were only 5.20 a piece . HTH somebody good luck

  • Mary

    Have you actually tried all of these ideas?
    Using human hair isn’t all that effective if you live in an area of heavy deer population as those deer are quite comfortable with the smell of people. And putting hair on the ground won’t deter them from eating leaves that are higher up.

    A mixture of eggs in water (and then let this ferment in your fridge for a while) can be sprayed on your plants. The deer don’t like this smell, but you need to reapply it after every rain so it’s not terribly convenient but it’s fairly effective as you are spraying the leaves/flowers which is the part that they eat and therefore have their nose up against.

    Vinegar will kill the leaves but not the root, so while the plant will look dead, it will come back and you haven’t really accomplished much of anything.

  • Rosa Thornley

    There needs to be a disclaimer on #5. That salt will kill weeds AND turn soil alkaline, meaning few other things will grow in that soil. So, killing weeds that way could also murder flowers and vegetables for many years in the future. STERILANT.