Top Ways Gardening Can Cost You More Than You Save

Gardening can end up costing more than you would spend at the grocery store or farmers market, or it can be an effective way to save money on rising food costs. Avoiding common gardening mistakes that increase costs and reduce savings is the key to a successful garden.

Mistake #1: Buying infrequently used tools instead of renting. For example, when you turn over your garden once a year, you can rent a high-quality tiller instead of spending the money on an expensive tiller that you must store all year. There are also cost-effective ways to eliminate the need for expensive equipment such as container or patio gardens that can produce high yields without taking up much space.

Mistake #2: Buying plants instead of seeds. Seeds cost a dollar or two and provide enough for the average family, providing a low-cost option for your favorite vegetables. You can buy a few varieties without spending much money. If you have extra seeds, freeze the remainder for the following year. Buying plants increase that cost to several dollars per plant. If you need more than a couple of plants in a particular variety, buy a pack of seeds instead of individual plants.

Mistake #3: Spending on axillary products. Fertilizer, potting soil, pesticides, and other supplemental products can triple or quadruple the cost of a garden. Instead, find natural ways to improve soil or eliminate pests that threaten your plants. You will end up with healthier food and more money in your wallet.

A garden does not require complicated equipment or specialty products to achieve high yields. You can drop seeds in the ground, water, and fertilize, and grow enough food for your family. Save money by simplifying your garden, and you may find you have fresh food at a much lower cost.