Gardens enhance the beauty of any home, but more and more homeowners choose to garden as a way to save money on grocery expenses. Home-grown vegetables, herbs, and fruits not only taste better and provide greater nutrition than store-bought varieties, they cost less.
Keeping costs low when maintaining a garden, no matter what kind of garden you have, can be as easy as adopting three easy money-saving practices:
- Collect Rainwater — There’s no point in paying the local water department when you water your gardens if you can simply use the free stuff that falls from the sky. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average homeowner “uses at least 30 percent of their water outdoors for irrigation,” and some studies suggest that “more than 50 percent of landscape water used goes to waste due to evaporation or runoff caused by overwatering.” Collecting rainwater in rain barrels and using it to water gardens is one way to save big on your water bill, and it plays an important part in water conservation.
- Make Your Own Compost — Compost enriches the soil and makes for happy, healthy plants. Sure, you can buy compost from your local garden center or nursery, but you can also make it yourself for free in the backyard. With the right compost bin, making compost can be easy and somewhat hands-off. In addition to saving money by making your own compost, you also reduce the amount of lawn and kitchen wastes that go into local landfills. Not everything can be composted, though. For a handy listing of what you can and cannot put into your compost bin, take a look at this brief article on Composting Basics.
- Use Raised Containers — If you frequently lose your plants to nibbling rabbits, deer, or other garden-invading critters, you should consider planting your more delicious plants in a raised container. Raised containers allow gardeners to keep plants safe from animals, thereby saving money that would have to be spent replacing those plants. Raised containers also make it easy to relocate the plants as necessary, and they prevent sore backs and joints that sometimes come with tending a garden at ground level.