10 Garden Mistakes that Waste Money

Views 18 Likes Comments Comment
Like if this guide is helpful

Written by: empressofdirt
Edit Link Remove
Add up to 3 more photos

Making the Most of your Garden Budget


Don't worry-this isn't a lecture! It's just a simple list of things you might want to look out for so you can make the most of your garden budget. 

We've all done these things—gardening mistakes, bloopers or blunders that may be relatively harmless except they waste money. And, if you're like me, you want your garden  budget to stretch as far as possible each year so that each new season is the best it can be. 

See if you have made any of these mistakes (  I have!) and better yet, perhaps you can avoid them. 
A garden like this takes several years to grow. Short cuts can be expensive!
Edit Link Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
A garden like this takes several years to grow. Short cuts can be expensive!

1. Plant Overload

There's nothing like some good old spring fever to get us buying way more plants than we have room for. Or sometimes we have the garden space but no time to plant them. 

Before loading up your trolley ask yourself,  am I going to be able to plant all of this?
Flower power!
Edit Link Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Flower power!

2. Bad Soil

There's no sense planting good plants in poor quality soil. Improve your soil each season with natural enrichers like compost to give your plants a healthy foundation. 

Also see  organic garden soil.

3. Nice Plants - Wrong Zone

Plants dying or taking over the garden? Every growing zone is a bit different. Non-native plants (or ones that have not adapted properly) will struggle in the wrong zone, require too much pampering (and resources) or worse still, become invasive. 

Find out what's suitable for your area and stick to plants that thrive (but not too fast) with minimal care. 

Also see resources about native plants.
Edit Link Remove
Add up to 3 more photos

4. Temporary Eye Candy

Oh, but they're so pretty!  Yes, they are. Annuals can be irresistible with all those gorgeous colours and textures and instant gratification but using up your budget on new pots of single-season plants doesn't help with the goal of a creating a long-term, sustainable garden.   

If your budget is tight and you want a long-lasting garden, focus on perennials (plants that last many years) and sneak just a few annuals in. Growing them from seed will save you money. 

Also see  annual flower seeds.

5. Gardening Myths

There are so many crazy gardening wives' tales! Ignore all those Pinterest pins saying to put mounds of sugar or salt or who-knows-what-else in your garden and instead follow the basics:
  • Plants suitable for your growing zone
  • Good soil
  • Best locations
  • Room to grow
  • Water
  • Sunshine
  • And follow nature—it knows a thing or two about how to grow things
Old household items make lovely garden features
Edit Link Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Old household items make lovely garden features

6. Wanting It All Now

I've been there! You want that beautiful garden and you want it now. But the reality is, everyone has a budget and if yours doesn't allow for large, expensive plants to move things along quickly, you are going to have to be patient.  

Buy younger plants and start others from seed. Within in a couple of years, you'll be amazed how much they have grown.  

Also see  perennial plant seeds.

7. Buying Things Nature Provides Free

Instead of buying commercial fertilisers, use your own compost and leaf mould (leaves that have disintegrated) to enrich the garden.  

Instead of using tap water, harvest your own with rain barrels. Be sure to check if it's legal where you live. 

Also see  rain barrels.
Wildlife is a sign of a healthy garden—even if you don't like what they eat.
Edit Link Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Wildlife is a sign of a healthy garden—even if you don't like what they eat.

8/9. Lazy Shopping & Bad Timing


If you really want to stretch that budget, get smarter with your shopping. Instead of buying new at a retail shop, check out used or discounted items at charity shops, car boot sales, online ads, auctions and shops. Sometimes you can even barter or get things free simply by asking around. 

Shopping at the start of gardening season is a money-burner. It takes some sleuthing to find deals but, once you know where to find them, you'll never turn back. Watch and wait for shop sales, garden club plant sales and swaps and end of season discounts.  

Joining a local Horticultural Society or Garden Club can provide a wealth of information, tips on where to get stuff cheap and some offer discount cards for local retailers.  

When buying items like seeds and bulbs that often come in bulk, consider combining purchases to save on shipping and share with a friend.  

If you're buying compost, manure or mulch do the maths and see if you're better off getting a truck load delivered instead of buying bags. Perhaps you could split an order with a friend?

Also, making time to properly care for garden tools (cleaning, oiling, repairing) means they can last a lifetime.  

Also see  garden supplies.
Garden art makes any garden more interesting
Edit Link Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Garden art makes any garden more interesting

10. Growing Yucky Things

I am a big fan of vegetable plants simply for their beauty, but if you are really trying to make the most of your money (and garden), don't grow veggies you don't want to eat (or can't pawn off on someone else). 

Focus on veggies you love but cannot get dirt cheap at the Farmer's Market. Unusual heritage vegetables are a great place to start.  

Also see heritage vegetable seeds.
Give your plants a great foundation with healthy soil
Edit Link Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Give your plants a great foundation with healthy soil

Love it? Share it!



10 Garden mistakes that waste money
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page
10 Garden mistakes that waste money

More Creative Gardening Ideas



Edit Link Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Edit Link Remove
Add up to 3 more photos

Join Me

Love creative gardening ideas?  

Be sure to follow my eBay guides.  

And happy gardening to you!   

Written by:  empressofdirt
Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides