Gardening for free or on the cheap is not a new idea- in fact, this is how our ancestors grew everything! Even if you feel you do not have a green thumb or anything close to it, I encourage you to try and try again. Some free gardening techniques are nearly no-fail, as long as you follow sun and watering requirements. This is what has worked in our southeastern US yard, but these tricks should get the job done in many areas:
1. Divide and conquer
We were fortunate to find many perennials in our yard when we moved in. Especially lilies and hostas. These plants can easily be divided and spread around the landscaping- in fact, they need to be to continue to thrive. Any plants with tubular roots are ready to spread the love! Divide in spring or fall while the plants are not blooming, which means you will want to make a chart on grid paper indicating which plants are where and the colors they bloom.
2. Give and take
While you are dividing, ask fellow gardeners if they would like a piece of your perennials and you will likely receive new plants in return. Our yard has several plants and trees from my mother’s and my late grandmother’s gardens, namely: irises, rose of sharon, hostas, monkey grass, periwinkle, nandinas, coral bells, and some yet-to-be-identified bushes that have grown quite large! Those bushes and the rose of sharon and nandinas have small shoots that come up underneath for sharing.
We have also transplanted plum tree shoots from my husband’s parents and plan to plant a fig cutting from my grandparents’ home. My father has taken weeping willow tree cuttings from his grandparents’ home place and successfully rooted them by simply sticking them in his creek bed. I will do the same from his tree if I find room for another weeping willow tree in the future (although I have no creek, so rooting hormone will have to do.) If we move, portions of my family’s plants will be at the top of my packing list!
My mother has also given me several flowering plants, vegetable plants, and bulbs that were leftover from her planting. She has a set number in mind and will get rid of what is left in the pack, which I can always use!
Go here for Part 2 on Gardening for Free (or Almost) and do share your free gardening tips and tricks in the comments!