Starting a Garden Without Spending a Ton of Green

It's getting to be the perfect time to plant. But you don't need to go out and spend a fortune at the nursery to start a container garden on your stoop or windowsill. Jump below on cheap ways to start or add to your garden.

1. Propagate plants with friends and family. Succulents and Begonias are two kinds of plants that propagate well from a cutting — a free cutting. Tons of plants can be started from snapping off a branch or a stem and sticking it in water. So get together with a friend and plant-swap to expand your collection. Here are some directions.

2. Dumpster dive. Many nurseries throw out plants that don't look healthy anymore, but if you take them home you can rehab them with some TLC. This isn't totally on the up and up, so be cool when you're scoping out the alley behind the nursery!

3. Ask for discounts. If a plant is looking sad, you can always try asking for a discount if you're not up for dumpster diving.

4. Garage sales. Garage sales are a great source for plants — or at
least great cheap containers to use as stylish pots.

5. Thrift stores. Repurposing vases or fish bowls for terrariums is one way to save on pots. We found 10 glass fish bowls for $.50 each at the Salvation Army — instead of the $30 the nursery wanted for the same thing.

How do you keep costs down while maintaining an awesome garden?

(Re-edited from a post originally published on 8.31.2010 - CM)

(Image: Laure Joliet)