A garden is a space cultivated with plants. It can be an organic garden or a modern one relying on technology and scientific advancements.
When it comes to growing your vegetable garden, it’s important to know how to garden effectively. The best way to do this is by knowing what kind of soil you have and then choosing the right plants for it.
Giving your yard a fresh new look for spring or upgrading your garden to create the serene outdoor space you’ve always wanted can get expensive quickly: Plants, soil, and other materials will add up if you’re not careful. However, there are ways to get landscaping materials for cheap, and sometimes even for free.
Take advantage of free wood chips and mulch
One way to cut your budget is to take advantage of wood-chip giveaways. For free wood chips, there are sometimes local governments, tree-care companies, and arborists that will drop off chips for free if they end up with branches or trees to recycle. You can also sign up to get free wood chips on getchipdrop.com. This is a free service that will alert local crews that you want some chips, and they’ll drop some off if they’re working nearby. This sign-up also includes logs, so if you’re interested in hugelkultur, growing mushrooms, or fueling a fire pit, this is a good option for that as well.
Where to get free compost
To get some free compost, check with your local municipal, county, or state waste disposal programs. In some places, there is a community compost pile that is either free or cheap for residents. This is a haul-your-own scenario, though, so you’ll want to come prepared. Many cities and counties will also offer free backyard compost bins to get you started if you want to make your own. This is a way to reduce waste as well as getting nutrient-rich soil for your garden. If you don’t have free options in your community, you can make your own compost bin from a large plastic container with a lid like a garbage can or a tub-style storage bin. Just drill some vent holes in it, place it in a dry place, and toss in uncooked food waste, grass clippings, and yard waste. You’ll need to turn your compost once a week or every other week to keep it evenly decomposed.
Where to get free seeds
To get seeds for your vegetable garden, look to your local community center, library, or university gardening extension. Many seed companies will also offer free samples, but make sure that they send you seeds for plants that will thrive in your local climate. In addition to public programs, seed swaps are popular on social media, and you can sometimes trade seeds with others in your area to get a good variety of seeds to plant. One more way to get seeds for free is to save them from your previous year’s garden. So long as your plant is producing viable seeds, you can get years and years worth of vegetables if you save a few seeds each fall.
Where to get free and cheap walkway materials
To get walkway materials, you can try local concrete demo companies for free chunks of concrete pavers. These can be installed like stepping stones in a garden walkway over top of some landscaping cloth to keep down weeds. If you live near a gravel yard or quarry, you can often buy a pickup-truck load of small gravel for under $10. Think creatively about materials for a walkway as well. Reclaimed bricks, stones, or even planks of wood from a broken pallet can be made into pathway materials.
Where to get free dirt
Many local governments also offer a program to give away free fill dirt. While this isn’t suitable for gardening, it’s fine for filling a depression or improving the grading away from your structure. Another way you might come by some free dirt is by befriending your local construction crew. If they dig a basement or a foundation base, the dirt often has to be taken off site to be repurposed. They might just give you some free dirt if you can haul it away yourself. Always keep an eye on social media free groups for deals on dirt. Most of the time, people will offer free garden or fill dirt rather than go through the hassle of carting it away themselves.