70+ Frugal DIY Garden Resources

 

Are you interested in growing your own food, but struggle to find any extra room in your budget for gardening supplies? These Frugal DIY GARDEN tips will help you to grow your own food without breaking the bank on gardening supplies. Bring on the harvest!! There is nothing better than your own homegrown fresh produce! http://www.groundedandsurrounded.com/frugal-diy-garden-articles/

By: Sarah Koontz

Are you interested in growing your own food, but struggle to find any extra room in your budget for gardening supplies?  I have 10 frugal tips and tricks I have used to save money in my own garden, and you won’t believe how simple some of them are!

I have also included a list of 70+ of my favorite gardening resources.  My hope is to be your one stop shop for frugal diy garden tips.

A few years ago, we decided to move out to the country so we could grow some of our own food and raise our own chickens.  The very most important skill for us to develop was gardening, and we started from scratch!

I had tinkered with gardening in the past, but had always failedThis time was different, this time I was on a mission, and failure was not an option.

That is the thing about gardening, anybody can do it!  It just takes time and energy and a bit of practice.

I love to research, and as I did, I discovered so many fun garden hacks that will save you time, energy, and money.

Here are the TOP 10 Frugal DIY Garden Hacks I use in my own garden:

  1. The Versatility of the Milk Jug: I also save all of my vinegar and natural laundry detergent containers. They have many uses in the garden, but here are a few of my favorite:
    • Milk Jug Hot Caps: simply cut off the bottom and place them on top of your transplants to keep them toasty warm and protected from the wind. I leave the lids off unless the temps drop too low at night, then I pop the lids on. I love the vinegar and other more sturdy plastic containers for this job too (they hold up better).
    • Milk Jug Seed Starting: Cut the jug around the middle about 1/3 up from the bottom and add a few drainage holes. Put soil in the bottom, plant your seeds, and tape the jug closed.  You now have a mini green house to start your seeds in.This one is genius, and it worked quite well for my tomatoes last season. Simply poke a bunch of holes in the bottom of a milk jug, and bury it beside your tomato transplants. When it is time to water, simply fill up the jug a couple of times and your tomato plants are in heaven! http://www.groundedandsurrounded.com/frugal-diy-garden-articles/
    • Below Ground Watering: This one is genius, and it worked quite well for my tomatoes last season. Simply poke a bunch of holes in the bottom of a milk jug, and bury it beside your tomato transplants.  When it is time to water, simply fill up the jug a couple of times and your tomato plants are in heaven!
  2. Don’t throw out used Yogurt Containers: This is another item I reuse in the garden. Any plastic container with a lid will work.  I use them in 3 different ways.
    1. Cut them into strips = Free plant markers
    2. Poke holes in the bottom = free seedling pots
    3. Seed planting time = keep your seed packets dry and clean by carrying them around in a yogurt container while you plant (this seems a bit silly, but I have lost far too many seeds because they got damp in the garden)If you like to garage sale or shop at thrift stores, always be looking for items you can re-purpose in the garden. I got this “cube shelf” at a sale for 3 dollars last year and re-purposed it as a tomato trellis in my garden. http://www.groundedandsurrounded.com/frugal-diy-garden-articles/
  3. Garage Sale Finds: If you like to garage sale or shop at thrift stores, always be looking for items you can re-purpose in the garden. I got this “cube shelf” at a sale for 3 dollars last year and re-purposed it as a tomato trellis in my garden.My husband built me 3 hoop houses out of 2x4’s and pvc pipe last year. We are hoping to build some season-extending low tunnels this season. This is such a versatile product to use in your garden, and SO CHEAP! http://www.groundedandsurrounded.com/frugal-diy-garden-articles/
  4. PVC Pipe is the Gardeners Friend! My husband built me 3 hoop houses out of 2×4’s and pvc pipe last year.  We are hoping to build some season-extending low tunnels this season.  This is such a versatile product to use in your garden, and SO CHEAP!If you need something sturdy and cost effective to trellis your tomatoes, I highly recommend this method. We tried it last year with great success. Our plants were huge, and the trellis held them perfectly. We were able to get the stakes for free, and reuse some old fencing. http://www.groundedandsurrounded.com/frugal-diy-garden-articles/
  5. Tomato Trellis Hack: If you need something sturdy and cost effective to trellis your tomatoes, I highly recommend this method. We tried it last year with great success.  Our plants were huge, and the trellis held them perfectly. We were able to get the stakes for free, and reuse some old fencing.Shop your local RE-Store Outlet for wood scraps, items to re-purpose, and old windows. We found a couple of windows for $2.50 each last year and made cold frames out of them. I have also seen people make planters out of old bath tubs….. http://www.groundedandsurrounded.com/frugal-diy-garden-articles/
  6. Shop your local RE-Store Outlet for wood scraps, items to re-purpose, and old windows. We found a couple of windows for $2.50 each last year and made cold frames out of them.  I have also seen people make planters out of old bath tubs…..
  7. Don’t toss the items you bring your plants home in from the greenhouse. I have been saving every pot, seedling tray, and cell pack for years and it is starting to pay off.  At the beginning of the season, I wash and disinfect them with a bit of bleach and we are good to go.
  8. Drain tile: Check out the picture above of my tomato trellis’.  Do you see the plastic tubes coming out of the ground beside each plant? I didn’t know what this stuff was until we built our house, but it is this amazing perforated tubing.  I cut it into 2ft sections and buried it next to my tomato plants.  It was much easier to use than the milk jugs, and my tomato plants grew over 6ft tall (in zone 4 mind you!).Are you interested in growing your own food, but struggle to find any extra room in your budget for gardening supplies? These Frugal DIY GARDEN tips will help you to grow your own food without breaking the bank on gardening supplies. http://www.groundedandsurrounded.com/frugal-diy-garden-articles/
  9. Weave your own twine pea trellis. This one takes a bit of time, but is well worth the effort.
  10. Get Chickens. I know, not everyone can have chickens.  But if you live in an area where they are allowed, I strongly encourage you to get your own.  They are fun animals to have around, but they are also a huge benefit to your garden.  I winter my chickens in my garden and benefit from all of the cheap fertilizer come spring!

I have had so much fun learning how to grow my own food without breaking the bank on gardening supplies.

It has been quite a learning curve for me, and I am excited to share a compilation of some of the most helpful articles and books for anyone who is interested in starting their own frugal DIY vegetable garden.  I have broken them down into categories for easy navigation.  Enjoy! (Main Image Credit: Dollar Photo Club)

Planning Your Garden

The first step towards success in your garden is planning!  I use the Territorial Seeds Garden Planner to map out my garden in January/February each year.  I highly recommend the Grow Great Grub book for anyone who has to plan a garden in a smaller space.

1. For Smaller Gardens: Gardener’s Supply Company Garden Planner

2. For Larger Gardens: Territorial Seeds Garden Planner

3. Raised Row Gardening Method

4. Vertical Gardening

5. 12 Most Popular Healing Herbs to Grow Yourself

6. BOOK: Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces

7. Printable Garden Journal

8. Getting Started with Square Foot Gardening

9. Intensive Gardening

10. What is Permaculture?

11. Beginners Guide to Container Gardening

12. Upside Down Vegetable Gardening

 

Seed Starting

The whole idea of starting your own seeds can be quite intimidating.  But it is so worth the effort!  There is nothing like green growing things in your basement while there is still snow on the ground.

1. Top 10 Frugal Seed Starting Hacks

2. Seed Starting 101

3. Creative Seed Starting Ideas

4. VIDEO: How to build an Inexpensive Seed Starting System

5. VIDEO: Complete Guide to Starting Tomatoes Indoors

6. What to Plant Now?

7. Organic Seed Starting: Step by Step

8. Interactive Seed Starting Guide

9. Best Tips for Starting Seeds Indoors

10. Where to Order Organic/Heirloom Seeds

11. No Space or Money for Starting Seeds….Think Again!

 

Best DIY Garden Projects

My husband is a saint and he has done many DIY projects for my garden. He is hoping to plan and build a greenhouse for me someday, but this summer we are focusing on building our own compost bin.

1. Cattle Panel Garden Trellis

2. How  to Build a Greenhouse for $50

3. 365 Day Garden Greenhouse

4. How to Deep Water Tomato Plants

5. How to Build the Ultimate Compost Bin

6. DIY Veggie Basket

7. $2 Dollar DIY Birdhouse

8. DIY Raised Garden Beds Tutorial

9. How to Build a Living Playhouse for your Kids

 

Frugal Garden Tips & Tricks

I love re-purposing items to use in the garden! We have a bunch of rain barrels connected under our deck, and we use an old hot tub pump to get the water out of the garden. We found the 250 gallon barrels on craigslist and were able to set up the whole thing for less than it would cost to buy 1 new 60 gallon rain barrel.

1. 25 No-Cost (or low-cost) Garden Tools

2. Connecting Rain Barrels for Harvesting Water

3. Homemade Pea Trellis

4. The $2 Stake A Cage for Tomatoes

5. The Art of Seed Saving

6. Start a Vegetable Garden for $25

7. How to Build Raised Bed Garden for Under $20

 

Bugs and Weeds

If you do organic vegetable gardening like I do, then you will definitely have to get creative about pest control.  Here are some great resources to get you started.

1. 20 Ways To Get Rid of Pests Naturally

2. Beneficial Insect Habitats

3. 5 DIY Bug Sprays for your Garden

4. BOOK: The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control

5. 10 Ways to Deal with Weeds Naturally

6. Why to row Flowers in your Vegetable Garden

7. Beneficial Bugs and how to Attract Them

8. Chicken Tunnel In the Garden

 

Natural Fertilization

Did you hear me mention my chickens?  I convinced my husband that we needed them for the garden (their poop is awesome fertilizer once it is composted) and that their eggs were just bonus.  But I have been itching to try the worm composting bin.

1. How to Make Manure Tea

2. Comfrey: Organic fertilizer you can grow yourself.

3. How to Grow Highly Nutritious Food

4. DIY Worm Compost Bin

5. Composting Guide for Beginners

 

Companion & Succession Planting

This is such an important element of Short Season Gardening.  I live in Zone 4 (and that is being generous!), so I need to get as much out of my short season as possible.  Being ready to succession plant and growing things in companion for better yields have been very important skills for me to develop.

1. Getting Started with Companion Planting

2. What Not to Plant Together

3. BOOK: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening

4. Who Likes Who in the Zoo

5. 16 Ways to Use Companion Planting to Control Pests

 

Season Extension

I would not have the success I have in my zone 4 garden without season extension.  I love being the crazy person who is out planting in April when most people in my area can’t plant until May 15 (and even then it is risky!).  These articles really  helped me get a jump on the whole concept of season extension.

1. 10 Reasons to LOVE your Short Season Garden

2. BOOK: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long, 2nd Edition

3. Winter Garden Experiment

4. Best Plants for a Fall Garden

5. More Food in the Same Space

6. Garden Know-How: Extend Your Season

7. How to Build a Mini Hoop House

8. Cold Frame Gardening

9.  Inexpensive Cold Frame (Built with No Tools!)

 

Preserving the Harvest

What are you going to do with all of that zucchini?  Another important skill for gardeners to develop is the ability to use and preserve the bounty.  Here are some articles to get you started.

1. 11 Secrets to Properly Freezing Produce

2. DIY Bucket Sized Root Cellar

3. How to Store Green Tomatoes

4. BOOK: Canning for a New Generation: Bold, Fresh Flavors for the Modern Pantry

5. Canning 101

6. How to Save on Canning Supplies

7. 40 DIY Tricks to make your Groceries Last as Long as Possible

What are your best frugal DIY garden tips? Please do share!

Sarah Koontz Header.

This article has been shared at many of my favorite linkups.

Sarah Koontz

About Sarah Koontz

Sarah Koontz is a freelance writer and regular contributor at Grounded & Surrounded. If you are interested in growing your faith, nourishing your family life, and discovering the beauty of God's design, be sure to follow her personal blog at SarahKoontz.com. When Sarah is not writing, you are likely to find her covered in dirt, sitting in the middle of her garden, adoring her beautiful flock of backyard chickens. She is eternally grateful for her husband and two little girls, and revels in their simple, uncluttered life. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

22 thoughts on “70+ Frugal DIY Garden Resources

  1. I can’t say it enough. You amaze me!! I’m completely clueless to gardening, but I pin your posts b/c I’d like to learn one day (when we are back Stateside). The below ground watering tip is so cool!!!

  2. Thank you Rachel. I feel the same way when I read your blog, we each have our own unique skill set that is for sure! Hope you are feeling well and that the weather is nice in Germany this time of year…maybe when you move back to the States you can come visit and I will give you a tour of my garden and cook you a great tasting meal.

  3. Awesome list of resources! I can’t wait to try some of your tips.. I never thought of using yogurt containers to plant seeds. I took a break from gardening last year but I’m anxious to try again this year.

    1. Thanks for visiting Laura. I have heard great things about your blog, and can’t wait to spend some time over there too! Get back out in the garden….it is so worth the effort!

  4. These are great tips! I can not wait for my garden! Thank you so much for sharing this on Making Memories Mondays! 🙂
    Cathy

  5. We haven’t started a garden yet, but we’re in the planning phase. This post is awesome!! Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty 🙂

  6. Awesome article, Sarah! I loved how you utilized a milk jug into your garden—that’s an excellent way to recycle! I’ve been looking for ways to increase my garden’s efficiency. You sound like an experienced gardener, I think I should listen to you! Do you have any tips on how to plant grape vines?

    Lily de Grey |

  7. Found some lovely ideas for my garden here! My best friend will be very happy to read your post, because she just started a small garden and there’s a lot of helpful info for her here. Surely showing her your post. Happy gardening!

  8. I love to grow vegetables in my home garden but didn’t know where to start. Thank for your tips. Very simple and easy to get started, I will follow your advices in my next year’s gardening projects!

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