While gardening can save you money at the grocery store, the seeds, soil, and tools to get started can add up quickly. If you’re looking for a few ways to cut down on costs, MasonJars.com has put together a few helpful tips and tricks to keep your wallet flourishing, not shriveling.
Reuse Old Products for New Purposes
Upcycling, which refers to the reuse of common products you already have around your home, is a great way to save money. For example, toilet paper, egg cartons, paper towel rolls, newspaper pots, and leftover containers can be used to create a seed tray or seed starter pot for gardening. Once you have any one of these items, such as a toilet paper roll, begin making your seed starter pot by:
- Cutting the toilet paper roll in half
- Making four cuts in the bottom
- Folding the cuts over to close the bottom of the roll-off
- Filling and packing the roll with soil
- Adding and regularly watering the seeds
As your seeds begin to grow, you can avoid over-watering them by using a Mason jar and a sprayer lid. As for lighting, ensure that the container your seedlings are in is regularly rotating so that all angles receive sunlight (or light from warm fluorescent bulbs).
You may also want to consider using eggshells and empty egg cartons for seed growth. Save your eggshells and poke a hole in the bottom so that moisture can drain, then back the eggshell with soil and the seeds. Once your seeds are packed and ready to go, place them in the egg carton near a window for sunlight or beneath fluorescent lights.
Finally—to keep track of your seeds and monitor their growth—save and reuse old popsicle sticks or toothpicks for plant labeling purposes.
Make Your Own Seed Mix
Having seed starting mix on hand is crucial to begin growing your own plants and produce. By growing your own plants and collecting their seeds, you can significantly reduce the number of trips you take to the local home garden store. There are only a few basic tools required to begin creating your own seed mix, such as:
- Sphagnum Peat Moss, Perlite or Vermiculite
While it may sound strange, your seed mix will be soil-less as moss is finer and lighter, making it easier for roots to grow. A soil-less mix also holds onto the water while reducing the risk of mold or rot.
The planting mix should be pre-moistened before the seeds are added; the container of your choosing should also be filled with water while packed with soil.
Create Your Own Countertop Composter
Reduce your need for store-bought fertilizer and cut down on the amount of trash that goes to the landfill by starting your own compost. Because it can be inconvenient to walk outside to your compost bin every time you want to toss food scraps and other biodegraded products, we suggest making your own countertop composter.
Find a 32-ounce Mason jar and top it off with a reCAP Flip and shaker insert. It’s essential to use a lid with a level of breathability instead of a canning lid. The reason being, you want to ensure any gas build-up from the compost can escape.
If you’ve never composted before, it’s helpful to know what food and product waste break down into healthy soil for your garden. We recommend starting with:
- Fruit & Vegetable peelings (watch out for too many seeds!)
- Paper Towels and Napkins
- Teabags (remove staples!)
- Coffee Grounds
- Crushed Eggshells
When the jar starts to get full, bring it out to a larger outdoor compost bin and dump in the contents. If the jar starts to smell, simply wash it out.
Repel Pests Using Natural Methods
Garden pests are inevitable, but they can be removed using many different methods. However, several methods are unsafe for the growth of your produce and may contaminate your products, making them dangerous to consume.
What’s more, purchasing repellents every season can turn out to be very costly. As an alternative to chemical-based repellents, here are some natural repellents to keep garden pests away that you may already have at home:
- Crushed Eggshells
- Aromatic Herbs
- Flour, Salt, or Beer (toxic to insects)
- Vegetable Oil or Garlic Spray
- Soapy Water
As a bonus, you can use pieces of cardboard surrounding your plants to prevent the growth of weeds. For using and transporting liquid repellents, combine a Mason jar with a sprayer lid to create the perfect plant and human-safe repellent.
READY. SET. GROW!
If you’re a Mason jar enthusiast looking to take up gardening, then look no further than the reCAP® Mason Jar Lids Six Piece Gardening Kit. Paired with the products and tools you already have around your home, this long-lasting Mason jar gardening kit will help you save money during the gardening season. If you’re looking for more recipes, how-tos, and DIYs, visit our Get Inspired page for more!