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How to Start A Flower Garden On A Budget

Each year I love the flow of Spring, the chance to see what will thrive in the garden this year. The opportunity to fill my porch and flower boxes with color. The hardest part- the cost of flowers. Friends, it is NOT cheap to buy any type of plant.

Even though gardening can be an expensive hobby there are ways to start or continue your flower gardens on a budget.

Master Gardener Sale

In New York State we have Cornell Cooperation Extensions in many of our counties. I personally love going to our local CCE plant sale. Every year in May you can get affordable plants from local gardeners.

I have found these plants to hold up the best because they have been growing in the same soil they are going to be transplanted in.

Many of these plant sales have garden books and the chance to speak with master gardeners.

To find ones in other states try doing a search for master gardening plant sales and then your city and state.

Buy Annual Flower Seeds

Each year I try to ONLY buy perennials. Annuals sure are pretty but they are not pretty to the budget. Remember annuals die every year. In New York where summer months are short, it’s hard on the frugal dollar.

If you have a large homesteading space, five plants won’t get you far but will put a dent in the weekly budget.

I try to start annual flower seeds indoors. Even if you don’t want to start seeds inside I’ve had success with many annuals direct sowing in the garden. Some of my favorites are:

  • Sunflowers
  • Zinna
  • Coleus
  • Cosmos
  • Morning glory
  • Marigolds

There are others but these are just the ones I always have success with.

Don’t Jump The Gun- Plant at the Right Time

The middle of April Home Depot usually does their Spring Black Friday Event. Veggies and flowers are usually $2 or less for decent sized plants. The problem? Again in upstate New York, it’s still cold. Heck, we may even have snow.

One year I took advantage of the sale and kept the plants in the garage. They needed a lot more attention though because the temperature in the garage is constantly changing.

It’s important to plant your flowers at the right time. The right time of the year and be sure to plant in early morning or evening. You never want to plant at 12 p.m. on a blazing hot day. I’ve done it and they wilt they go into shock and they may not come back.

Be Patient – Plant Perennials

Perennials are the way to go. It’s best to start a perennials garden somewhere. Be sure to give your perennials enough space between each one for good plant health. When they have enough space to grow into beautiful healthy plants you are able to propagate new plants from your original.

Each year I like to get one or two new perennials. And propagate from last years perennials to other gardens around the homestead. It’s cost effective and within a couple of years, you will have multiple gardens full of beautiful plants.

Arbor Day Cheap & Free Trees

It is worth checking out the Arbor Day Foundation Site. When you become a member you get 10 free trees. Remember these are very small and will need protection from deer, but it’s FREE!

Know Your Location

When you want to start a flower garden figure out where you want it. Watch the space to note how much sun it gets a day. This will help you when deciding what flowers to plant in it.

Read or Pin: How to Start a Veggie Garden

The worst thing you could do is fill it with plants that prefer shade and watch them all die! Been there done that. Those little tags on the plants, read them. They really do help.

When we moved to our farmhouse a little garden out front was already started, and I kept adding more plants to it from around the homestead. Until I realized there is no way for me to see and enjoy this garden unless I drive down our road.

Plant a flower garden you can enjoy more than passers-by. Out here in the country, everyone is going 60+ mph anyways, I doubt they are slowing down to look at that little garden.

I better move it this year!

READ OR PIN: How to Keep Chickens Out of Your Garden


One of my favorite things is decorating the home inside and out. This is why I love plants because they are the best decorations for the outdoors. It doesn’t mean they are the ONLY decorations. Consider adding little fairy gardens or windmills.

There are plenty of things to add to the space if you are struggling to fill it up with flowers. Big lots, Dollar Tree, Dollar General are all great places to find affordable and cute garden decor pieces.

Amazon is a fun one to look through, some are great deals and some are just entertaining. Like the one below

No matter what you decide to do don’t get discouraged with the budget. There are plenty of ways you can be resourceful and get the look you are going for. It may take more time but the efforts will be cost effective and worth it.

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