More Free Mulch
Store-bought mulch has its place—the uniform material looks great up close by the front door where you can see it—but it’s a money drainer when it comes to large beds. Most municipalities have free supplies of wood chips for the taking. If not, simply call a tree service in your area and ask if you can have some of theirs. Most will happily oblige, some may even deliver it if they’re grinding a tree in your area. You can also save money gardening by buying mulch in bulk.
Grow Self-Seeding Flowers
Self-seeding flowers, like the hollyhocks seen here, are a real money saver for the home gardener. Buy a packet of seeds now and have flowers forevermore. The secret is to sow them where they have a chance to succeed (consult seed packets for recommendations) and then allow some of the fading flowers to go to seed. Resist deadheading—at least near the end of the season, when a new crop of seeds is needed. Some great self-seeders include rudbeckia, sunflower, cleome, zinnia, calendula, bachelor’s buttons, poppies and cosmos.