If your backyard feels a little ho-hum, get ready to give it a makeover. Whether you have a small yard, or a property where acreage is no object, you can enhance your lawn and garden in a number of ways. You can add a patio or a simple deck, beef up your landscaping, or create a garden that brings beauty and wildlife into your backyard. If you’re on a budget and need to do it on the cheap, there are several easy and inexpensive things you can do to accomplish a first-rate backyard makeover.
The first thing you’ll need for your garden is sunshine, which thankfully is a free commodity. Just be sure to consider the location of your garden in relation to where the sun will shine during the growing season.
Another important thing you’ll need for your garden is, of course, seeds. This year, we found a 20 pack of organic seeds for about $20 at Costco. We include a sinking fund in our family budget all year long so that we’ll be able to make purchases for our garden when it comes time.
If you’re planning to garden on a small scale or just don’t have the money to buy a big pack, you can get organic seeds and starts locally, on Azure Standard, or even Amazon. Don’t be afraid to just try a few. It’s amazing to see how those tiny dry seeds can transform into pounds and pounds of produce!
When gardening within the constraints of limited space, time, or funds, focus on choosing the seeds that are easy to grow in your area and the things your family will be most likely to eat.
In our area, zucchini and other summer squash grow pretty much like weeds. Radishes are also easy to grow and have an early harvest. A few other easily grown garden vegetables include snap peas, beans, lettuces, and greens.
Before long, you’ll be able to grab a fast and frugal snack right from your garden!
In our garden, we were blessed to have good soil already available for growing just about everything we could imagine. If you happen to live in a place that doesn’t have good soil or is very rocky, you may need to bring in dirt.
Many people build raised beds, but this does add to the cost of your garden. Instead, try buying a few bags of soil, lay them out in your yard still in the bag. Then simply punch a hole in the top of the bag and plant your seeds or seedlings. Be sure to put some drainage holes in the bottom as well.
You can often find free fill dirt available on Craigslist. If you love the idea of raised beds, contact local businesses and see if they’ll give you their used palettes to use for your garden.
Composting your kitchen scraps can also save money on soil and fertilizer. It does take a few months for compost to be ready to use, but it’s a great practice to start now and could reduce your garbage or sewer bill in the mean time!
There are limitless garden tools available to work the soil, but really very few are needed.
At a minimum all you really need is a hand spade and kitchen shears or an old paring knife for harvesting. A hoe is helpful for larger gardens.
To make sure your garden gets enough water, especially in the summer months, you’ll need a watering can, or a hose for larger areas.
Watering can be one of the more time consuming parts of gardening, so a sprinkler and timer on your hose is a great upgrade to make if possible.
Simple Gardening on a Tight Budget
Gardening is a fantastic way to save money on healthy, natural produce. If you’ve never tasted a sun-warmed tomato ripe off the vine, then I hope you’ll try your hand at a simple budget-friendly garden this year.