5 Ways to Make a Garden Without Money

5 Ways to Make a Garden Without Money

How does your garden grow? With spring and summer blooms, the sweet smell of flowers, and the beautiful sunshine can inspire you to get out there in the backyard and use your green thumb. But what if you don’t have a huge budget for custom landscaping or hydroponic systems to take care of your precious plant babies? Never fear, here are 10 ways you can achieve a magical garden with an ordinary budget.

1. Free Resources


Lush green gardens are built on love, care, and research – not money! There are tons of free resources online that can help you get started on your gardening journey. Pinterest is a great place for gardening tips. Check out this board for all the free guides on everything from roses to cacti! What kind of garden do you want to build?

Local Garden Center

You can also take advantage of free advice from garden store professionals. Stop by a Home Depot, Lowe’s, and flag someone down in the garden center. You never know if you’re going to get someone with 30 years of gardening experience or someone who just started working there. It’s always worth a shot! Ask about things like the most affordable types of plants to take care of, the best soil combinations for those plants, and even how to start your garden.

Friendly Flower-Tenders

Sharing knowledge can be done online or in a store, but it can also come from friends and family. Do you know a gardener? Someone with a greener thumb than yours can help tremendously, especially when it comes to managing those pesky perennials where you live. Local guides are the best because the climate, soil, and plants that do well vary. So ask away!

2. Choose Wisely

Don’t want to blow money? Don’t go to the hardware store or gardening center and choose expensive and temperamental seeds or plants. If you are an inexperienced gardener you definitely don’t want to try nursing orchids or roses right away. Start with heartier plants like Aloe, Cat Grass, or even small succulents. This way, you get the most bang for your buck and your garden is more resistant to the elements and your not-so-green thumb.

Some of the hardiest plants you can start with include:

  • Carex Pensylvanica: Do you have gaps in your garden? This plant will fill them right up. They grow pretty freely with little maintenance. They’re also a little fuzzy in texture, which gives them added shielding from sun and water damage or overages. These plants thrive in low light.
  • Ajuga: If you have a ton of shade around your backyard this plant is for you! This one even kills the weeds around it. It is such a strong plant that it can basically survive anything – even your seemingly terrible gardening. Don’t worry – this guy won’t let you down.
  • Persian Shield: This magical purple-leafed plant really stands out from a sea of green in any yard. It’s a tropical plant, so it’s really durable in different types of weather. You can plant it as an annual and leave it be. Give it a spritz or two every once in a while and make sure it’s got a little sun.
  • Caladium: These plants have a pretty purple-pink feature on their leaves and even appear to glow at night. Can you imagine looking out on your backyard and seeing the glowing stems of this plant? It’s straight up magical. These plants are annual too, and if you grab one of the white shaded ones you’re guaranteed that magical glow.
  • Desert Roses: This plant may resemble an ordinary garden rose but it’s actually a succulent that grows almost like a bonsai plant. Its stem stores a ton of water so they don’t need to be coddled. Plant these annually if you’re in the north and have frost. If you don’t get frost, you can plant it as a perennial. These are by far the prettiest of the picks in this list.

3. Dollar Store Savvy

Did you know that stores like Dollar General and Dollar Tree sell gardening supplies? Well they do! You can get tools like trowels, buckets, and even some pots there. They occasionally have seeds as well and some “grow your own” kits. Make sure to explore these stores as they will have unexpected treasures to bury in your garden!

For $20 You Can Get:

  • Gardening gloves
  • Seeds
  • Small pots
  • Garden gnomes
  • Plant labels
  • Watering cans
  • Bird feeders
  • Small terrarium bulbs
  • Trowels
  • Plant ties
  • Hummingbird nectar
  • Pruning shears
  • Wildflower pollinator
  • Spray nozzles
  • Hand rakes
  • Twine
  • Solar Stakes
  • Pinwheels
  • Plant hangers

Can you believe that all of those items only cost you a dollar each? You can pretty much begin your gardening experience without any over-commitment. See how you like tending to followers and if it’s not your thing you can move on. Simple!

4. Cheapest Flowers To Grow

You can get seeds at the dollar store! Anything is possible with the right gardener at the helm of the floral ship. Typically, you’ll see wildflower seeds that grow slowly and sometimes not at all in these discounted places. Things like sunflowers, carnations, cosmos, and daylilies are pretty cheap to start with. A pack of seeds won’t run you more than $3 in most places. The trick is that these plants often require a lot of patience to grow from scratch.

We recommend that you choose one of the following plants so you can get the most bang for your buck.

  • Blanket Flowers: These guys look like daisies but spread much quicker. If you get a good batch going your garden will grow quickly.
  • Hellebores: These plants do well in shady and moist soil. It can reach up to four feet high and three feet wide. Its flowers go quickly and these plants are very cheap to grown and maintain

You might get easily frustrated if the cheaper plants don’t spread but some of the seeds have to stick!

5. Advantages of Weeds

Although most people associate weeds with being garden killers, they actually provide some benefits. You might not have expected this, but beneficial weeds can help you fertilize the soil, absorb more moisture, and even nourish your plants. Invasive bugs are often repelled by weeds. This can help protect more sensitive plants. You don’t have to worry about obsessively plucking weeds to have a beautiful garden. Just let your garden grow!

As long as you are willing to put in the effort, you can have a great garden on any budget, but we hope these tips help.

Updated on

Written By Sarah Thomas

Sarah Thomas is a Master Gardener who edits and writes content for websites and magazines. Over the past two decades, she has been writing for The Doorstep about houseplants and indoor gardening. Since she started writing about plants, Sarah has been collecting rare and tropical plants. The Berkshire Botanical Garden awarded Sarah a certificate in horticulture in 2017.

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