Gardening is a simple, relaxing activity that can be affordable. Here are a few easy ways to get free seeds and plants for your yard!
How To Get our Hands On Inexpensive Plants
- If you see plants in a shop that are in bad shape but not dead, speak to the owner. Ask him if he’s going to give you any “offer” if you’re going to take them off his paws. Almost all of the time they’re going to give you a deal because the plants look bad and they don’t want to fiddle with them anymore.
Many home improvement stores and discount stores have a guarantee that if your plant dies within one year, you can bring the dead plant and a receipt, and they’ll give you your money back or give you a new crop.
- Trade plants with your friends. Split your plants or get family divisions. For two years, we split four hostas to get about 30 seeds. If you see someone working in their backyard and tossing out seeds, ask if you can get them. Most of the people are more than happy to give you their extras.
- Plant zinnias and marigolds in areas where you want a lot of color with a litte trouble. Only work the ground, put down the seeds, and you’ll have a lot of flowers in the early summer. You could have cut flowers all summer long!
- Many gals are familiar with cookie swaps, where you bring about five dozen cookies and trade. Try to organize a plant-swap of cuttings / starters from different plants using the same principle.
- They have a local adult program to people with developmental disabilities. They have a garden where they market seeds, herbs and flower seedlings, and even fruit and vegetables they produce. The price is half or less than every store in town. They also give you a free plant in return for giving them your old plastic containers.
- Our local tech college has a horticultural program.
They have greenhouse sales two times a year, and the range and costs are good. Get on the email list of the division and get there early. Some high schools are doing this, as well.
- Don’t ignore the obvious: purchase seeds and plants from grocery stores and drugstores. Just after Mother’s Day, they’re getting it all out for the July 4th auction, I just purchased $1.99 brand name seed packets for 10 cents a pack, and some flowers bloomed for $1.00 a pot, usually $20. Once in the ground, you can give them some water and TLC and they will bloom again.
- Freecycle post and Craigslist for any plant or gardening needs. You might have to do a little searching.
- Check with the local Native Plant Society. They try to secure approval from developers to remove native species prior to their development. Yeah, you’re going to have to dig these out. These often have extra native plants and are adapted to your environment.
Dividing Up Plants
We’re saving money on planting by breeding a lot of plants. While some plants replicate more quickly than others, most plants can be duplicated successfully.
For instance, your neighbor may have a bush or a flower that you really commend,but you don’t want to pay for what the store costs. Ask them if you can take a cut from their crop. Because you only need a small piece, most of the people are happy to oblige.
You need to snip a slice from the tip of a branch made up of a few leaves. Wrap the end in a damp towel and, once at home, strip off any lower leaves to leave the stem. Place it in a small pot with high quality potting soil and water.
Four-inch pots are operating well for cloning. Ensure your pots can drain water and keep it moist! A bit of water every day or so is a good idea. You just have to keep the stem moist, so it’s going to start putting the roots out. You can use a root-stimulating product, but we do not. With plants that are tough to clone, like roses, I think it would be worth it. You drop the stem in the stimulator, then position it. Some people advise that clones with plastic should be kept in moisture. We attempted it, but we had a lot of mold issues.
It should grow as normal after your plant is well established.