Every grower wants to save money while maintaining good quality cannabis. I have always looked for ways to save money growing without sacrificing quality. These are the budget gardening tips & tricks that I use to save some money so it can be invested into your grow. I have found great success using these. So, let’s get right into it.
1. Re-use Growing Medium
Many growers will buy new medium each grow. While this is perfectly fine. It can get costly very quickly. For example, if you need 75L of soil for four 5 gallon pots. That would cost about $50-75CAD on soil each grow. I recommend re-using soil if you can and simply re-amend it with nutrients. This budget gardening tip can save you a good chunk of change. I have re-used soil up to 3 additional times after the first use without any issues. That will save you approximately $150-225CAD. By saving money there, you can use it to buy supplies, nutrients or towards a light upgrade.
2. Use Natural Substitutes for pH Up & pH Down
The store bought pH up & down can cost quite a bit and after a while, that adds up. I found things that I already had around the house to use instead. Since I started growing, I have used lemon juice to pH down with amazing results. You only need a little bit. My tap water is about a pH of 7.0 and it takes about 1.5-2ml per gallon of water to lower it to roughly 6.3-6.6. Consequently, you can use baking soda for pH up. You don’t need to use much so be careful. Start by adding 1/8 tsp to a gallon of water. You have to be careful using this as it raises the ppm as well. In my experience, I have only needed to pH down though.
3. Collect Rain Water
Collecting rainwater is not only beneficial to your plants but to your wallet. It may not save you much on your water bill but it will add up over time. Whether you put out totes, jugs, buckets or your plants to get that rain water, the benefits are the same. It contains more oxygen than other sources of water, which helps the roots to breathe. It also reduces risk of overwatering because the roots are getting extra oxygen. Rain water contains nitrogen as well, which keeps your plants green and healthy. This budget gardening tip saves money but also has benefits to it as well.
4. Compost for Your Plants
Composting your waste can literally turn garbage into a rich nutrient source for your plants. All your cardboard, used tea bags, used coffee grounds, fruit & veggie scraps, egg shells, and defoliated leaves can all be used to create a wonderful compost. You can use this compost to add to your soil, top dress your soil, or make compost tea. You don’t need a big compost to do this. You can get apartment sized one for under the cabinet. It can really be a great source of nutrients for your plants with a little effort.
5. Make Your Own Supplemental Nutrients
I have a few supplemental nutrient recipes that I use to compliment my primary nutrients. I like to make Banana Peel Tea, DIY Sweet Raw and Fermented plant juice. These can all be made with limited ingredients that you likely have at home anyways. Using supplemental nutrients can really boost your cannabis during flowering. They all have their place in your growing arsenal. I had really good results using the banana peel tea during flower to boost phosphorus and potassium. The Sweet Raw helps to bring out the terpenes and aids in growth as well. Finally, the fermented plant juice gives a nice boost of microbial life to your soil during vegetative growth or in early flower.
6. Get Gardening Supplies at the Dollar Store
You don’t have to buy everything at a hydroponics store or even a garden center. You can simply buy some at the dollar store. If you get them in spring/summer, you can get enough for the year at a fraction of the cost. You can find plant ties, humidity domes, and pruning scissors at the dollar store. The only con is, they’re only available at a specific time of year. If you plan properly though, it can save you quite a bit of money.
Now, you have an arsenal of budget gardening tips and tricks that you can use to save your green when you’re growing cannabis. I love saving money when growing because I can re-invest that money into my grow. The money that I save on soil, for example, I can use towards new supplies that may need to be replaced.