Very little in life is more sublime than walking out into your own yard to behold a festive array of fresh living greenery, flowers, plants and trees. But the cost of maintaining and replenishing all that natural beauty can add up—and not just in the time it takes you to plant and tend your garden. If you’re looking for economical ways to replant your garden, why not check out these free resources for seeds, plants and more!
WinterSown offers a variety of free seed packages that are always subject to change. All you need to do is select your package choice and send a printout of the page and a self-addressed, stamped envelope (with two stamps) to WinterSown.
2. Arbor Day Foundation
Although technically not totally free, the Arbor Day Foundation will gift you with 10 free trees in exchange for a $10 six-month membership. If you go in with a few friends, that could mean you each pay just a couple of bucks for 2-3 beautiful new trees to plant in your yard! The type of trees you may receive will be zip code specific (to ensure growing success).
3. Seed Libraries
By joining a Seed Library, you can receive free seeds on the honor system—so long as you agree to return seeds to the library at the end of the growing season. Libraries can be local, regional, or national.
4. Free Plant Network Worldwide
Free Plant Network Worldwide (FPNW) is an international nonprofit organization that aims to provide a continuous source of free seeds, bulbs, plants, fertilizers and more. The site offers a variety of plants, vines, flowers and garden supplies free of charge. You need to click on the name of the item you want, scroll down to the page footer, and find the button that says "Click Here" to order.
5. The Garden Hoard
The Garden Hoard offers free seeds by selecting from a list of available seeds, printing out a SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope) page with your list, and sending it along with a two-stamp SASE. You can also receive a six-pack of free seeds. Also, if you make a $5 freewill donation, you’ll receive 12 free packs of seeds automatically.
6. Free Plants By Mail
Free Plants By Mail offers a "free plant of the month"—all you pay is a flat-rate shipping fee of $6.95. You can just order one plant, or join the "Plant of the Month Club," which automatically sends you a free plant each month, and you just pay the flat-rate shipping fee.
7. Your own kitchen
While you may shake your head, wondering how you didn't realize this before, there are often plenty of free seeds loitering in your very own kitchen! The best way to harvest free seeds from your produce is to be sure to buy organic produce so it will be pesticide-free. You can plant dried beans and peas, sprout the heads of celery stalks and whole potatoes, scrape the seeds out of the center of tomatoes, plant garlic cloves, and bud ginger rhizomes, among many others.
8. Seed swaps
You can join official seed swaps online, or simply swap casually with friends and neighbors. There are plenty of online seed swap resources that can connect you with fellow gardening enthusiasts. You might just find someone who has the ideal seeds for your garden—and who wants exactly the seeds you have to offer!
9. Cut, divide and repopulate
Finally, there are free plants and seeds lurking everywhere—in your own existing garden, at the local park, in a friend's yard and in other places as well. One easy way to double your garden is to simply divide plants at their roots and replant each as a separate new plant. You can also harvest cuttings—if you see a lovely flowering plant or bush, take a small cutting home and plant it for free. The plant will readily regrow the snipped area and you’ll have saved yourself some handy cash!