Gardening is a fulfilling hobby. It gets you outside in the sunshine, and you immerse yourself in planting and maintaining your flowerbed. The result: a huge reward of beautiful flowers or tasty vegetables all summer long. But buying plants and landscaping for your yard and garden can really be a major hit on your wallet. However, there is a way you can fill your garden or containers with flowering plants without spending much—or anything at all. Here's how it's done.
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Visit Construction Sites
Keep an eye out for construction sites with plants that are worth saving that you can transplant: mature shrubs, native species, and perennials are likely suspects. One call to the construction company and they could be yours. New building sites aren't the only spot to scout for free foliage. Road expansion projects and renovations can be just as good.
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Once the weather warms up, gardeners get busy dividing and thinning plants. What happens to all those extras? Sometimes they end up at the curb. Hop in your car for a quick lap around the nabe, and you could score enough free bulbs and divisions to keep you digging for days.
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Grow Plants From Cuttings
Grab a bottle of rooting hormone and try your hand at growing your own plants from cuttings. It's easier than you may think.
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Host a Plant or Seed Swap
If you and your neighbors have too much of a particular plant or seed, throw a swap party and trade your way to the plants that you need. Everybody wins.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Divide Existing Plants
Plants like hostas, daylilies, and peonies, among many others, grow to several times their original size after a few years in the ground. Turn one plant into two or three or more through the simple magic of division. It's good for the plants and great for your pocketbook.
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Collect seeds from your favorite self-pollinating plants, and you'll be able to grow them again next year without having to buy another packet of seeds.
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Take Advantage of Volunteers
If your yard needs the grace and shade that trees provide, search your lawn for volunteers. They may not end up where you want them, but they're easy enough to move. Just read about how to properly transplant them before you start swinging that shovel.
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Check the Classifieds
Craigslist, Freecycle, and even your newspaper can be a great source for free plants. Look for offers to start appearing in March (or whenever it warms up in your area).Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Watch for Catalog Promotions
Find a plant and seed catalog that you haven't ordered from before, and you've got a good shot at getting your first order free (usually up to $25 worth of product).
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Get on Store Mailing Lists
Lowes and Home Depot both have a garden club, and both chains send out buy-one-get-one-free coupons regularly. Get on the list and wait for those coupons to hit your inbox. Then head to the garden center or shop online for some great buys on plants.