TikTok's Money-Saving Advice For Starting A Garden On A Budget

Gardens are a great way to improve your home's curb appeal. Not only does a garden add value to your home, but gardening can also benefit your mental and physical health. However, the problem is that preparing to grow plants in your yard can be quite expensive. The cost to build a garden from scratch will vary depending on the plants chosen, the tools and materials used, the length of your growing season, and the size of the garden. Most people desire to start with a raised bed, which can cost upwards of $240 at Home Depot. Furthermore, this steep price doesn't even include the cost of soil, tools, fertilizer, and plants. In the end, you could easily spend $700 or more on the plants and supplies needed to start your garden.

Fortunately, it is possible to start a garden on a budget, and TikTok user @summerginther shows how she bought and collected the supplies needed for her garden for just a few hundred dollars. Using her tips, your garden will pay for itself in no time! The TikToker used recycled materials and starter seeds. She also mostly chose perennial flowers, which come back every year and live for a minimum of three growing seasons. Finally, she did the work herself rather than hiring out, which saved her any potential labor costs.

How to start a garden on a budget

To save money on her garden, @summerginther started by using recycled lumber and pallets to build raised garden beds. These can often be found for free at local hardware stores, but you'll need to use heat-treated pallets rather than chemical-treated ones for gardening. This is because chemically-treated pallets can leach toxic contaminants into your produce. So, before you use any pallets, look on the side for an HT (heat-treated) stamp. If you don't see this stamp, the pallet was likely chemically-treated, so you should opt out of using it. Shy away from any pallet that has a MB stamp as well, as this means that the pallet was treated with unsafe methyl bromide.

Next, the TikToker had her soil delivered from a local landscaping store, which can be cheaper than buying it by the bag. One commenter on @summerginther's video suggested checking with local recycling centers for free soil and compost. You can also check with neighbors or local free groups to see if they are giving away anything for a garden, as @summerginther was able to get free pavers from her neighbor who was moving. Another tip is to use perennials, which will save you from having to replant every year. Finally, start from seed whenever possible, as this will be significantly cheaper than starting from seedlings or grown plants. You can also sometimes grow produce from food scraps such as pieces of potatoes or vegetable seeds.