How can I garden with no money? (Low-cost to free gardening)

For most, gardening has become a way to provide their family with a cheaper alternative to fresh, healthy vegetables. From composting to finding free seeds, finding free gardening resources can be difficult!

Gardening with no money is hard! Luckily, I have the answers for low-cost to free gardening.

Keep reading if this is something you feel you may need in the near future with the upcoming spring gardening season quickly approaching us!

Disclaimer: Some links to products I have an affiliate link to. This means I make a small profit on your purchase. This in no way reflects on the quality of the product as I only recommend things I myself love! 

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What is the cheapest way to do a garden?

There are many ways to help decrease the overall cost of your garden. Finding free supplies on the side of the road and on the internet locally can help reduce your costs by a ton!

Starting your plants from seed is usually the most economical way to start plants, and propagating can help duplicate your plants as well!

No-till gardening and companion planting can help reduce the costs of things like fertilizer and pesticides. Having a biodiverse garden helps to discourage pests and diseases within your garden. 

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How can I grow vegetables without spending money?

This is difficult to achieve but it can be done. Save seeds from foods you already are buying like peppers, squash, and others. 

Check your spice cabinet as well. Seed spices like fennel, dill seed, and celery seed can be planted and will grow into the plant they came from!

Keeping the space you plant smaller will help to minimize any upfront cost of your garden as well!

I am a big fan of recycling and composting so both of these can be used to help reduce your costs in your garden!

How can I get free garden supplies?

There are a few methods to make gardening even cheaper. Resources that with a little effort you can get cheap and even free items for your garden. 

These resources can provide free materials for your garden. Either compost, mulch, or even seeds!

Seed libraries can be great ways to get free seeds. These are usually inside actual libraries. Another way to get seeds free is through swaps. Look in your local area for seed swap events. 

43 Assorted Vegetable & Herb Seeds by Black Duck Brand is another option for inexpensive seeds. 

ChipDrop is a company that teams with arborists to deliver free wood chips to gardeners. Forewarning: This is a lot more wood chips than you think it is. 

Sometimes, local coffee shops or even Starbucks will let you have their spent coffee grounds. This can be composted to make amazing compost for your garden! 

ShareWaste is a program that connects gardeners with those who want to compost and either do not have the time or space to do it. You can customize what items you will take. This can be a wonderful way to help make more compost. 

Some areas have a local equestrian center where you can pick up horse manure for your garden for free. A word of caution: you do not know if it may contain weed seeds inside the manure; but if you hot compost it, it will kill off the seeds!

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Can you grow food from the grocery store?

Absolutely! As I said above, that is a wonderful way to reduce your costs. Foods you can grow include:

This can be cost-effective to start your own garden. 


Growing a garden does not need to be expensive. You do not need to break the bank to grow your own food. I hope this guide helps you grow you and your family healthier foods!

Happy planting!


3 Ways to Compost

Disclaimer: Some products listed below I have an affiliate link for. This does not change my opinion of them! 

Composting is important for not only improving soil quality but for saving the environment. This is important for the biodiversity of our ecosystem. 

Regardless of whether you live in an apartment or a farm, composting is able to be done. 

Here I will show you how to compost in any situation you may have!

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What is the best way to compost at home?

This is very dependent on where you live and the lifestyle you live. Living somewhere like a homeowners association may make composting impossible due to the rules and regulations around it. Services like Kaimuki Compost Collective can make this doable for you. 

For me, I like to use the compost bin I built myself. It allows me the freedom to easily compost. Many people do hot composting; however, this can be more complicated.

A compost bin can make this simple for just about anyone. Whether you purchase or build one, these make composting a breeze. 

Hot composting is a science and you should research it. This method makes composting quicker than regular. 

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What is the easiest way to compost?

Personally, I like just tossing everything into a bin. But, the correct way is to make sure you have an adequate mixture to reduce any potential smells and to have a good balance. 

There are a few methods, but having a turning bin can make it easiest for most. Your compost should be turned at least once a week!

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What household items can be composted?

Composting can seem daunting and many really wonder what can be composted. With regular everyday composting, the list is pretty basic. 

  • Food scraps except those that are animal products
  • Paper products such as non-glossy cardboard and plain paper
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Yard waste

There are other composting methods that allow you to compost animal products such as meat. This is called Bokashi. This method uses fermentation to make breaking down bones and meat quicker.

You can purchase a Bokashi composting bin and get started with it to help lessen your food waste even more. 

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Can you compost when you live in an apartment?

Composting inside an apartment can add extra work to the composter. It is doable, however. Bokashi composting or finding a composting service would be the best method for you. 

Finding a compost drop-off can be easily done. Litterless has a comprehensive list online of sites that accept compost items. 

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Composting can be a great way to reduce your environmental impact. Taking your food waste and turning it into nutrient-rich soil is important as our earth is in a soil crisis. 

Composting can be done in a variety of ways, from Bokashi to just a plain bin. Regardless of your method, it is the best way to help reduce your environmental impact!

Happy Planting!

How do you start a garden for beginners?

With spring quickly approaching, many of us veteran gardeners are planning our gardens. But for those who have never gardened before, this may seem like a large feat.

You may be asking, how do you start a garden for beginners?

Well, starting a garden is much easier than it seems and here I will break it down.

Disclaimer: Products mentioned here I have an affiliate link meaning I may gain some compensation on your purchase. This has zero sway in my personal opinion on it!

Choosing a location

Choosing the right garden location is the biggest decision you can make. You need to make sure that your garden location has good sunlight and is safe from being destroyed.

Another factor to consider is the proximity of your garden to your house. I love considering permaculture and other types when I pick my layout. Since you will be visiting your garden daily, it is best to put it close to your house.

Keeping your garden close to your house helps make those daily trips. Walking a garden daily is important to make sure everything is growing right. This allows you as the gardener to look for various things that are going wrong such as pests or diseases.

Planning your set up

Making sure you have a plan on the layout of your garden is important for many reasons. Firstly, it allows you to plan how many plants you will need for your garden. It also allows you to decide on what companion plants you will be planting along with your other plants.

Plants such as marigold are wonderful at detering pests from your vegetables!

Another important consideration is if you will be building raised beds, no-till gardening, or another method. Each application has their own benefits.

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No-till gardening

No-till gardening is great for the lazy gardener. This method helps to support the microorganism life inside your soil. You layer organic material onto your planting site and just plant into it. This method only improves the soil over time!

The Living Soil Handbook: The No-Till Grower’s Guide to Ecological Market Gardening is a wonderful book on this method!

Raised garden beds

A tried and true method and most people love this due to the easier nature of it. A downfall of it is how expensive it can be. There are ways to mitigate the cost, however.

Starting your seeds

Seed starting is a lower cost way of growing vegetables. Making sure you plant them in the right growing medium is important for good germination rates. I personally love using peat moss!

Peat moss makes a good growing medium due to its ability to holding onto water better. It is also relatively inexpensive when purchased from places such as Lowes or Home Depot.

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Enjoy the season

From this point forward, just enjoy the garden. Once those plants go into the ground, learning to love your garden is key to a successful garden!

Often, we find ourselves focusing on everything but what we enjoy. So plant the purple carrots, try the crazy variety, and most of all, love the garden!

Happy planting!

3 Garden Must-haves!

With spring coming, I would like to share my opinion on various garden items. These are my Amazon must-haves!

I find these to be a must-have for every gardener!

Disclaimer: Some of these items below I have an affiliate link to. This means if you order I get a small fee, but that is no reflection of my opinion of these items!

  1. Grow Your Own Seed Box by Garden Pack – 100 Varieties of Flower, Herb, Vegetable Seeds

I bought this for Christmas and the price and every other thing about it have made it my favorite! I use these seeds for everything and have found I love the germination rate and variety given!

It is a cheaper alternative than buying a ton of seeds at once. This can be great for someone just starting out!

  1. 10 Pack Seed Starter Kit, 72 Cell Seedling Trays 

These have been the most economical trays I have found since starting my gardening journey! Most of the ones at Walmart are much more expensive!

I had to buy these because of how much my garden is growing this year. It has been fantastic for growing a lot of plants at once!

  1. Neptune’s Harvest Organic Hydrolized Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 

I have been trying to move away from commercial fertilizers because. . . well, I am concerned with our soil crisis. Every year, my plants thrive on this fertilizer!

Careful though, this stuff stinks. Do not use it before leaving the house!

Protecting a Tree From Frost

With freezing temperatures fast approaching us, many of us are worried about our trees and how to prepare them for the cold nights ahead. 

Like you, I was also wondering, “How do I protect my tree from frost?” 

I have a few different fruit trees I am worried about, but this guide will help you prepare your tree for the cold ahead. 

Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliated, which means I may earn a small commission on it. That is no reflection on the product as I only recommend items I too enjoy! 

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Do I need to cover a fruit tree for frost?

This may depend on your species, but typically most landscape and fruit trees will need to be covered. This is especially true for trees such as citrus. 

Many varieties of trees we use in our yards and gardens just aren’t very adapted to the cold. This means we need to help prepare them for colder nights. 

Here in Pensacola, Florida, I grow various fruit trees like citrus. Citrus just is not cold tolerant, which means when it gets cold, I have to either cover the tree or risk it freezing. 

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What temperature should I cover a tree?

Personally, I cover trees when the temperature even threatens to drop below freezing. 

The tree species is also a major factor in if you should cover it. A tropical tree will need to be covered at higher temperatures, but a more frost-hardy tree will do well without much help. 

Newly planted trees will also need added protection as they are not as hardy as established trees. The first two to three years after planting, I usually baby my trees.

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What is the best material to cover a tree from frost?

Typically, I use a large tarp or blanket over my trees. Lately, I have been using the Meekear Freeze Protection Plant Cover, and I find they work great!

You do not need a fancy frost cover, though, I will say though, these seem to fit better. They also work if you have to leave it on longer. They do not look as tacky as blankets and sheets covering all your trees!

You do not need to cover your tree to the ground. It will keep it warmer, but the main goal is to protect the leaves and branches. 

Now, that does not include trees that have been planted in more recent years. A good frost barrier like ANPHSIN 2 Pack Tree Protector Wraps works amazingly at protecting the tree bark from frost! 

Trees that are freshly planted are not as hardy as older trees and may need added protection!

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Does spraying trees with water protect them from frost?

This is an old-time way to protect a tree from frost. While it does work, it takes some precision. 

This works because the layer of ice helps sort of insulate the tree and prevents further dropping, but it does not prevent all damage. 

While opting for this low-cost way to protect your tree may seem like the way to go, it has its drawbacks. 

  • The tree can still be damaged by the cold.
  • Too much water may cause excessive ice
  • Newly formed buds will have damage. 

However, even with the new buds being damaged, the whole tree is protected from frost damage, which is the goal, right?

Well, yes and no. Your tree dying is not a great thing, but the newly formed buds dying just isn’t great either. This may be best for a much larger tree. But for those with smaller fruit trees, I just do not recommend this method. 

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When planning for colder nights, make sure to ensure your trees’ safety. This is especially true for newly planted trees! Whether you cover them or attempt to spray water, protecting trees is essential for all gardeners!

Happy Planting!

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How to Plant Potatoes for Beginners

When I first started gardening, potatoes seemed like a million lightyears away. Now, I grow them for my family! I find it so easy to grow potatoes!

This is a beginner guide for planting potatoes! In no time, you too will be enjoying the fruit of your labor. . . or should I say spuds? 

I will make this daunting task much easier for even the most novice of gardeners!

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What month do you plant potatoes?

This is dependent on your area, mostly it is anywhere from February to even May! Some are even planted in the fall. Read the package and go from there or read online on your individual variety!

They take around four months from start to finish. Once the plants die back, it is time to dig around for potatoes! You may need to dig deeper to make sure you get them all or you might have a few volunteer potato plants. 

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Can I plant store-bought potatoes?

Yes, many will tell you that you cannot grow store-bought potatoes. There are downsides to doing this:

  • Not knowing if the plant is indeterminate or determinate. 
  • They might have a potato disease

Overall, this can be a more inexpensive way to grow your own potatoes. 

You will also need to wait for these potatoes to develop eyes to plant. That can make it harder overall to plant. 

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Can you plant potatoes straight into the ground?

Potatoes can grow straight into the ground! You will need to till around and amend your soil, however. This can be amended usually with rich compost. 

Something to consider is if your potatoes are indeterminate or determinate before planting. Determinate would do better in looser soil but indeterminate needs to be buried to grow larger and produce more spuds. 

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Can I grow potatoes in containers?

Most definitely! Indeterminate work well inside containers because you can fill the soil as the plant grows to help gain height!

Consider purchasing potato grow bags or using old feed sacks to grow your potatoes in! These are all great options to produce your own homegrown potatoes!

Potatoes can grow fantastic in containers, just keep in mind the depth and space needed for your plant.

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Potatoes can be a very easy vegetable that you can grow in your own backyard or around the homestead. 

This is because they do not require much more than soil, compost, and water and they will grow. However, depending on the variety, you may need to add more soil as they grow. 

Overall, potatoes are a perfect addition to your backyard garden!

Happy planting!

When Should I Prepare My Garden for Planting? 

This question here is one I get SO often. I always tell people just like you to start. . .well, yesterday. 

The best time to prepare your garden was yesterday. 

I hate to tell you that. That doesn’t mean do not start today! Here I will discuss ways to prepare your garden for the upcoming spring planting season!

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When can I plant a garden?

This is dependent on where you live. Checking resources like the USDA for more information and pinpointing your zone is important to help decide when you can plant.

Usually, we are in zone 9 begin planting beginning in January. We either start seeds indoors or plant more frost-hardy plants outside. Gardening is a lot of unexpected. We may have a late frost that kills all your plants once you harden them off outside. 

It is the unexpected in gardening that draws many of us into it. This makes deciding when to plant your garden difficult.

Understanding your overall garden area is the most important thing you can do to decide your next steps. Many just want to jump right in with barely any research.

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How to prepare my garden to plant in the spring

Spring is a wonderful season for planting your garden. Many start wondering, well how do I prepare my garden for spring?

There are a few steps you should do to ensure your garden is ready for spring!

  1. Research any upcoming frosts
  2. Amend your soil
  3. Decide what to plant and where to plant

The research will be your best friend as a gardener. Planning can help in the long run in optimizing the amount of food you get for your little space. 

Soil amending with things like bone meal and compost is important! Do not skip this step. This is because healthy soil from the start can make or break your growing season!

Planning where to plant can help by lessening the number of pests your garden may see. It can also increase your harvest!

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How do I prepare my garden for fall planting

Like with any season, the steps are similar. The only real difference in fall is the need for cold covers potentially. 

Be prepared to cover plants during frostier nights to help extend your growing season. Another important consideration is planting any bulbs for the next spring. Many bulbs like to be planted early fall and lie dormant until spring!

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Being prepared is important in gardening; however, it is more important to have a plan within that preparation. 

Plan out your garden well before time to start planting. This can help set you up for success

Happy Planting!

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How to Make a Sustainable Garden

In these more recent times, the idea of having your own sustainable garden is seemingly more and more appealing every day. For some, this can seem like such a daunting task. 

Many of my friends are really starting to ask me often, “How to make a sustainable garden.”

Honestly, there are many easy and free ways to make a garden.

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What is a sustainable garden? 

Well, this question is sort of loaded depending on who you ask. By definition alone, a sustainable garden. . . well sustains itself. This means, if you did not touch it, it could in theory thrive. 

Personally, I view sustainability as a way of living and therefore, a sustainable garden does not interfere with the nature around it. I try to work with everything into my garden in a way that is a sort of permaculture. 

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What does a sustainable garden look like? 

There are a few features that almost every garden can have to make it far more sustainable than what we view in our everyday lives. 

  • Biodiversity
  • No chemical pesticides or herbicides 

We here love a biodiverse garden where we use companion planting as a means to prevent pests in our plants. Some of these plants are marigold and dill. A lush and diverse garden to me has always been appealing. 

Not using chemicals has become my latest wish since having kids. Watching my children put everything into their mouths really concerned me since we used a lot of chemical disinfectants. So naturally, I do not use any of these in our garden.

I also compost and try to use reclaimed materials as much as possible. This helps us not only save money but reduce our waste in the long run.

This method also helps us reduce the amount of waste going into landfills!

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Why is a sustainable garden important?

A sustainable garden is important because it focuses on not making a negative impact on our planet. Instead of working against the earth, you are working in sync with it in a way that makes a positive impact. 

The produce from your garden can also taste better, be free of pesticides which in turn benefit you. Pesticides and herbicides run into our water supplies and cause major problems in the local environment. 

Some pesticides even harm bees. Bees are important for gardeners as they help pollinate our fruits. 

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What are the benefits of a sustainable garden? 

The benefits of sustainable gardening outweigh any of the disadvantages many can think of. 

  • Saving money
  • Building a better ecosystem in your soil
  • Healthier and fresher foods
  • Biodiversity 

These in turn help grow you and your family into more rounded people. Your children can learn from the environment around them and gardening is shown to be a fantastic stress relief. 

Methods of sustainable gardening

There are many different teachings to choose from when picking what is right for you and your land. Here are just a few: 

  • No-till
  • Permaculture
  • Hugelkulture 

These are all three fantastic methods but each has its own traits.

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Also known as ‘lasagna gardening’ this method involves not tilling the earth or disturbing the ground too much. You continue to layer organic matter and let things decay. This can be a wonderful method for the busiest of people. 

However, it comes with its own issues such as the soil needing to be amended more. This though can also be a good thing. Every year your soil will only get better the more you plant!


This is often paired with farm animals so it can be more difficult to do if you do not have any. However, if you are able to have livestock this method is amazing as everything lives in a sort of symbiotic relationship. 

Everything you grow benefits from one another and in turn helps reduce your waste tremendously and thus, is far more sustainable!

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This method is very interesting and cost-effective. It works well if you have really poor soil that you just do not feel comfortable using no-till. 

This method involves building raised beds and then filling the majority of them up with sticks and logs and then topping them with soil. This overtime will break down and feed your garden.

This helps save money because you won’t have to fill the entire bed with soil and won’t need to purchase most soil amendments once the sticks begin breaking down. It is also a very sustainable method since you are using items most people commonly discard. 

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Overall, many people do not think about the waste their garden may produce when they choose to do so. Developing a biodiverse and sustainable garden is important to the overall health of your plants. 

This can be mutually beneficial to both you and the environment around you. Sustainability does not have to be expensive either. 

Happy planting!