How can I get fresh garden vegetables for free?

If you are new to gardening, you may not yet know how much your garden can contribute to expanding and sustaining itself. No matter the size, there are many ways to use the resources at your disposal and get new garden plants for free – from the plants you already grow!

As you look around, you will find many opportunities to spread plants from anyone’s garden – your own or your neighbors, friends and family, or even the wider area. To inspire you to try this, I will share some of the ways I found (or plan to get) new garden plants for free.

Saving seeds

Saving seeds is surprisingly easy and straightforward. Some plants may be more difficult to collect seeds than others, but you still have to give it.

If you grow an ornamental crop during the summer, it is best to let some of those seeds go into full growth. I do not save seeds from all the crops I grow, but I always come with a good number of different seeds to sow next year.

Another important factor to consider is choosing the seeds for your garden, especially the native plants. Self-seeders basically do the work for you and increase their number in your garden each year.

Taking pieces

While some plants are easy to propagate from seed, others do better by cutting. There are many different types of plants that grow well in this way, and some of them can take root even without the help of hormones. Using homemade willow root solution can improve your chances of success when cutting soft wood, semi-mature and hardwoods.

Last month I took pieces of lavender and rosemary. During the winter, I plan to cut down hardwoods from a variety of fruit bushes in my forest garden. If you see something you like, you may be able to take pieces from other people’s property, but you should always ask first.

An indoor gardener takes the cutting of a Montreal plant.

Images of Lucy Lambrix / Getty

Multi-year division

Another important way to increase the supply of vegetation in my forest is by dividing the plants. This not only keeps the mature parent plants healthy, but also gives me new plants very easily and quickly.

For example, I distribute herbs such as chamomile and hostess. This involves the annual removal of any clusters and the careful removal of the roots before replanting the rest of the original plant. The other room is paid to provide new plants, which can then be stored elsewhere in the garden.

Swap seeds and plants

You need to think about changing seeds and plants with your friends, family and other people in your community. Sometimes organized seeds and plant variables can be found, or if there are no such events, they may be able to help you manage one. Schools, churches and community centers are great places to meet and collaborate with other gardeners and farmers.

Swapping seeds and plants may also be informal. When my mother-in-law visited me a month ago, she pulled out some beautiful rosemary, mint, and red puzzle from her garden. There is great potential for exchanging seeds and plants with other gardeners who are interested in doing so. In the spring, people sow more seeds than they need, and they have unsuitable seedlings or young plants in their gardens, so they may be willing to share.

Growing a garden does not cost the earth anything. Even with a very limited budget, you can create a truly beautiful and abundant garden. As your own garden continues to grow, you will have the opportunity to grow more plants for free.

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