Thrifty Gardening, More than Money


 At Plant Exchange, here on the Northern Plains, we are still watching for the first signs of spring. It allows us a bit more time to think about our gardens this season.

Thrift in gardening isn’t only about spending less money. It is also about using resources available and aiming for sustainability. The results of this effort come from our creativity.

Lucky seven thrifty gardening tips include:

  1. Shop in your yard before you buy more. What perennials need to be divided anyway? Placing a few more hostas or catmints or coral bells in others beds may unify the yard by repetition.
  1. Trade seeds and plants with others. It adds variety and may start a gardening friendship.



  1. Garden like you hope the farmers’ market grower of your snow peas did. Amend your soil with compost so you don’t have to rely on additives for thriving plants. Use crushed leaves, straw or other locally available disease-free plant material for mulch around plants. Rely more on timing and hand diligence with pests than chemicals.
  1. Recycle plant growing containers and stakes. Find more from neighbors and the local landfill.
  1. Learn how to save seed from your open-pollinated plants so your favorites may grow again next year. Shop for see at the end of season sales. Plant a few extra seeds if you fear lower germination rates of seed when you plant.


  1. Save on water and other inputs by selecting more native plants (or their cultivars) and more naturalized plants. These plants may be better adapted to your local environment. Don’t forget to include plants that draw pollinators.


Visit other gardens and their gardeners for their growing tips. A community garden is a showcase of gardening methods.



Thank you for your visit to Plant Exchange. We hope you will find other plant topics of your interest by category on the right side of this page as well as recent posts listed. Thank you for all the “Likes” and weekly visits loyal “Followers.” See you next week!

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