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4 Smart Tips to Garden on a Budget

Gardening doesn't always have to be costly. If you know these tips, you can easily garden on a pocket friendy budget.

Binita Kumari
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Gardening Tools

Whenever the cost of groceries rises, people become more interested in vegetable gardening and food preservation. Unfortunately, this means higher pricing at garden centers and a shortage of seeds, plants, and canning supplies. Although it can feel like you can't win all the time, there are several tricks to stretch your gardening expenses.

Begin with the seeds

Do you have any leftover seeds from the previous year? Even if they are a year or two old, most vegetable seeds will germinate.

Their viability may be barely affected if they were stored in a cold, dry environment.

If you have old seeds, plant three or four instead of just one. The only exception is parsnip seeds whose germination rate drops to zero after one year.

You might need to buy new seeds every year if you want to grow parsnip in your garden.

Separate the plants

To make them appear larger and more appealing, most vegetable pots are over-planted.

In each pot, you'll find two or three individual tomato, eggplant, or pepper plants if you look closely. Onions, basil, parsley, leeks, and chives, for example, can contain dozens of little plants.

These can be carefully plucked apart and planted separately if you have the patience.

Keep in mind that this process will cause root material to be lost, so the baby transplants will require special care until they recover.

It is recommended to prune the top of the plant to give the roots time to catch up. A plant with too many leaves and too few roots will result in plant death.

Propagate the cuttings

Tomato plants are easy to multiply via cuttings, so one large plant can provide enough material for several new plants.

Simply cut a 6-inch side branch and remove all leaves except the tops.

If you submerge it in water for a week or more, new roots will grow. When the weather warms up, these can be planted outside and will grow quickly.

Get out there and look for the seeds

Some seeds aren't sold in stores since they aren't available.

In prior years, we've discovered that zucchini and summer squash seeds were in short supply.

Start looking for seeds as soon as possible! Look for local gardening clubs and seed swaps where you may trade items and meet new people.

Expert gardeners and master food preservers are now holding in-person events, so search for lessons and workshops in your locality. Spring plant deals are also returning, so you don't have to limit yourself to garden centers and stores.

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