Get your garden ready with thrift-store finds

Spring is such an exciting time. It’s an excuse to start fresh. We clean our houses and garages and donate our unwanted items to our local Goodwill, but springtime is not only good for a fresh start in your house but also in your garden.

By starting seeds in a sunny window, you can have seedlings ready to transplant by the time the weather warms up. The sheer sense of joyful creativity makes recycling old objects into planters a fantastic idea for any gardener. Check out these ideas to get your garden ready for when the temperatures start to rise.


To get to work on the garden of your dreams, pick up a book or two to learn more about your plants like how and when to plant. Planning out how your garden will look, with the help of a book, also can make this job much easier. Some of these books may give you new ideas on how to make the best use of your space. For example, you can plant peas near corn as the cornstalk will give a natural trellis for vining. Starting at $2.99

Container gardening

While you are planning your garden, you may want to think if you are going to start early with containers and then move them to their permanent home in your garden. Many seeds can be started in your house then transferred to your garden. Seeds like broccoli and lettuce, or pansies if you are looking for a flower garden, can survive the frost and can be planted roughly a month before the average last frost date. If you are short on room, you may want to keep them in containers, creating a container garden. You can buy planters that have fake plants in them, clear them out and plant your own seeds, or you can pick up a unique item and make your own planter. Baskets and planters starting at $4.99

Protect your seedlings

Young gardens can die from everything from frost to weeds and other garden pests, and protection is key.

Weeds will kill your sprouting garden quickly by stealing nutrients and water from your plants. Using a spreader can make quick work of adding both organic herbicides and fertilizers to your garden. Spreader: $3.99

Protect seedlings by either starting them in your house with container planting or creating a portable garden cloche to protect small or newly planted seedlings and create a mini greenhouse effect with the help of thrifted finds to keep your plants growing. You also can find items to create a more permanent solution with a cold frame. Frost can be especially destructive to your seedlings. Bed sheets and blankets make for fitting covers for young seedlings or to cover plants with the threat of an overnight frost. Drape the sheet over the whole area and either weight the corners down or find a stake of sorts so the sheet doesn’t move. Sheets starting at $2.99

Protective netting can protect not just seedlings but also your harvest later in the year. This netting can help protect from thieving birds, squirrels, rabbits and various other pests that may want to snack on your garden. Netting: $7.99

Decorate your garden

It’s never too early to start thinking about adding décor to your garden. Grab some unique finds and refresh your gardens while you wait for the soil to thaw or create something unique to you with treasures from your local Goodwill. You can find garden décor any time of the year — just keep your eyes open. Décor starting at $2.99

One-of-a-kind treasures can be incorporated into your garden. The seat on this bike, for example, could hold a planter. The fork and handlebars can be used to help a plant such as pole beans grow upward. Bike: $5.99

Turn a bowl upside down, paint it red, give it some white spots, secure it to a post and you’re set with a DIY toadstool. Add some lighting to enjoy your garden late into the evening. Let your imagination do the work. Bowls and other décor starting at $2.99

For more inspiration, check out these additional DIY garden projects.

Sustain your garden

Setting up a rain barrel and/or a compost bin can help sustain your garden as well as the environment. You can save money with the compost bin by not buying fertilizer and save on your water bill by not using city water. Sustainable gardening methods are low-impact ways to grow plants that aren’t harmful to the environment.

Use a rain barrel to collect rainwater for watering your plants. This one also has a dispenser on it so you only take what you need, further saving on your water bill. Rain barrel: $4.99

Develop your own compost pile so you can return material back to the soil and the plants in your yard. Composting creates a natural plant fertilizer, which is great for sustainable gardening. Here’s how to get started with a compost pile. Compost bin: $7.99

Tools of the trade

Do you have all the tools you need for the upcoming season? Sharpen any tools that may need it — pruners, clippers and spades. Pick up any new tools that you may need to make your gardening easier like cultivators, gloves and shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty or can be easily cleaned when you’re done working. Tools starting at $1.99




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