Money saving gardening & orchard hacks

My observations are that many people are buying herb seeds for a few dollars a packet or fresh herbs for $6 a packet. Two years ago i was at walmart and noticed the live plants in the gardening center were half the price of the cut herbs. The dried spices were really expensive. The seeds though seemingly cheaper only contained a small number of seeds. The plants were at that time large and only $2 -$3. Many perennial herbs like rosemary, sage, oregeno, thyme can last years in the ground. Many annual herbs like basil its possible to collect seeds every year. There are many other money saving things i do in the orchard or garden. Another example and one of my signature favorites is grafting pear scions to wild callery pears. Its a great way to plant an entire orchard for $0. My mother mentioned the lemon balm experiment i did years ago she is still growing which now covers a 20x20 area. Lemon balm is very expensive to buy in pots at around $3 + each! There is big money in growing things which is why most people lose money growing food not make money. What money saving gardening hacks do you use?


I like inexpensive but I don’t do “cheap”. A few extra calculations and investigations before any purchase can go a long ways. It seems to me you operate by the same principle. :slightly_smiling_face:



Thats correct i like quality in whatever i buy not quantity. The point of the post is many times we are spending money where we dont need to. Much of what is sold now is not quality. The backyard project you did was not just about saving money it was about it being a quality install. Kansas fruit trees need to be strong and it seems those i purchase are always lacking something i need. Totally free fruit trees i graft are very high quality trees.


for cheap starts you can plant out right away, i go to esty. usually at most couple dollars and free shipping over a certain amount. i esp. like it for longer season plants like peppers, squash, etc. with the price of elect. and time being so precious these starts are pretty economical for me.

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My Romeo cherry bush is yet to produce cherries but so far it has made me $300 in the last two years. In keeping up with my quest to learn better propagation techniques I produce more than I can plant and thus sell them. Right now I have eight saplings happily pushing growth this year that will be sold next spring.

That above would be wonderful if I didn’t spend so much in new plants… Ten varieties of hops, a few trees, nine bushes, four grapes, plus I’m sure other stuff, I’m just north of $800 for the year on plants alone. Then again my plant selling offsets a big chunk of that.

One aspect is who you give your money to. Unless it cannot be helped I avoid shopping at the big box stores for gardening stuff. I love to support small nurseries and growers, and as much as possible I prefer to shop second hand to both save money and to promote reuse instead of creating more trash.


Seeds in the dirt…

I direct seed everything i grow except tomatoes (talking veggie garden here). Okra corn squash cukes greens melons green beans… all start easily from just seeds in the dirt.


Pile it up, let it rot, turn it over a few times… black gold.


Grow things that you love to eat… that can also be easily propagated… raspberries, strawberries, figs, etc…


Turn a real failure… into something you love by grafting to change variety… or purchase rather cheap rootstock and graft scionwood to it that you traded for here. New fruit tree for 5 bucks or so.


I throw everything in my compost, every year I get my annuals like snapdragons, campanulas, etc… came from my compost. Don’t tell me about tomatoes, I have too many from my compost, I have to throw them away.


I can’t with our short season but! I got a free metal frame for a hoophouse from a local farmer who was getting rid of it- one bent rod. fixed that and built a frame from scrap wood and I’ve got a hoophouse for figs and olives, and to start my longer season veggies way early. I plant direct into big pots in winter in there and they start about a month ahead

last winter I was gone and they all dried out, my bad garden this year is from doing like you do- with a late spring and short hot summer.

edit, I look on local free pages for anything I can use. leaves, this frame, wood scrap, cuttings, anything


i have 4 new shoots under my Romeo. i got good fruit set on C.J and Juliet but the Romeo thats a year older only set a handful even though they had the same amount of blooms. happy to have the free trees. :wink:


Next year you might have 50 shoots come up.


If you want to propagate a lot more harvest the root, get rid of the currently growing top grow, chop up the root into 6" long chunks, and pot them.

Root shoots require a good amount of time to get established with enough of an intact root system to support it. By removing the top, the root cuttings can push out new growth they can actually cope with. You get the highest success rate and faster development.

These are from root cuttings I did this spring. No fuss other than chopping, potting, and watering. Next year I’ll use a propagation box instead of individual pots.


What type plant are these?

Romeo bush cherry being propagated from root cuttings.

once i have enough for myself, ill give some to family and friends. share the wealth. sour cherry syrup is delicious over my home made greek yogurt or mixed with carbonated water. the skins left over is given to the chics which they love as well. cant have enough of them and black currants for the same uses.


Great idea for a thread!

Growing veg from seed is super rewarding, even with the failures. The miracle of abundance from a tiny seed has yet to get old to me. And cheaper too!

I bought a healthy but beginning to bolt Bloomsdale spinach on super clearance at the nursery and planted it just to harvest the seed. I am amazed at how much seed that one plant produced, I got many times the size of a typical packet for $2!

Agree that compost is the ultimate win-win in being budget and environmentally conscious and top notch care for the garden.

I start basil from seed and while still fairly young, pinch it back and put the cuttings in water. They root quickly and easily transplant. A great way to multiply some of the fancier, more expensive types.