Fall gardening for under $100
Around spring time, you hear lots of people talk about gardening and almost every other magazine article offers up “how-tos”. But true gardening aficionados look to fall to start their gardening in preparation for the spring.
I’m not much of a gardening person, but after much research I decided to follow those experienced folks in planning for fall gardening and enjoying the fruits of my present labor at a future date, most likely spring.
Unlike spending over $300 last spring trying to plant a small amount of flowers, this fall I got twice the amount for under $100. Let me tell you how I came under budget, got a custom look and will have long-lasting flowers that I won’t have to consistently replace:
1. Skip big box retailers. Yes, they are convenient, but they also come in at twice the price or more. I researched different sites including Yelp and found a wonderful local nursery close to me that sold plants for wholesale prices. The quality was better and of course the price you can’t beat.
2. Buy plants that are climate-appropriate to your area. I live in the hottest part of the valley which means the summer get really hot and most flowers will die. Think about investing $300 worth of flowers and within months they look dried out and probably dead. Not only have you wasted money, you’ve wasted your time and energy.
3. Buy what you need. Some plants cover more ground than others. Some spread, some grow really tall. Depending on the plant, it may look sparse right now but will get bigger over time. Give it some time to grow and you’ll be glad that you didn’t buy more than you needed (more unnecessary plants can lead to more maintenance).
4. Get professional advice. When I went to the nursery, I wanted something that was relatively low maintenance, had some color to it (preferably vibrant colors), stayed on the shorter side (less than 2 feet tall at full growth) and would survive the hot summers.
After figuring out if I had full sun, shade or a mix of both, I was shown a couple of options that would work with my requirements. If it was left to me, I would’ve never considered those factors and would have bought what was appealing to the eye. So seeking the advice of a botanist or experienced folks at the nursery is a must.
5. Create a custom design without hiring anyone. Just by planting a patch of one plant and alternating with another will do the job. For example, I purchased 4 garlic plants and 5 salvia plants for my planter in the back patio area.They were layed out starting with salvia, garlic, salvia, garlic, salvia, garlic, salvia, garlic and salvia. As they grow, the alternating pattern will give it that high-end custom touch to it.
By going outside of the box, as in outside of the big box stores, I was able to go to a nursery that guided me from start to finish. I purchased the right plants for my home in lesser quantity and was educated on how to use the plants to accent the home by playing with height and size difference to give it that customized look. The best part was that I saved over 75% from my spring gardening costs and these plants should last me a fairly long time.