Thrifty Gardening Tips: Know Thy Landscape

Thrifty Gardening Tips: Know Thy Landscape

Here is Part 7 of The Home Garden’s weekly series of posts about gardening on a budget.

Last week I talked about making lists for your garden. I mentioned lists for plants you want, plants that did well and didn’t, project lists, and the consolidated list, but another good way to save money while gardening is to know your landscape. This is extremely important in order to plant the right plant in the right place. How many times have you heard that saying? It’s true though. Some plants are extremely forgiving for the home gardener, like the zinnias I mentioned yesterday, but there are many others that can be picky. They may not like getting their feet wet, or they might love soggy soil. If you figure out what you have before you plant you stand a good chance of being successful in your gardening endeavors.

Here is a short list of questions that might help you to learn your landscape!

  1. How much sun do you get in each garden area? Do you have areas of shade or will your plants need to be sun-worshipers?
  2. What kind of soil do you have? Is it clay, loamy, or sandy? Or all bits of all three? Is it alkaline or acidic?
  3. What kind of moisture can you expect in your climate?
  4. What plants, trees and shrubs are already established?
  5. Do you have a large slope or is it mostly flat ground?
  6. Do you have large areas to take care of or a smaller plot?

Can you think of any other good questions to ask yourself about your garden? These questions are just a few that might help when determining what types of plants to add to your garden. It takes time to learn your landscape but as you go you will know what limitations and what features your garden has!

For more tips on how to garden on a budget visit these other Thrifty Gardening Tip posts!

Thrifty Gardening Tips Part 1: Buying and Saving Discount Discount Plants
Thrifty Gardening Tips Part 1 Follow Up: Buying and Saving Discount Plants
Thrifty Gardening Tips Part 2: The Generosity of Gardeners
Thrifty Gardening Tips Part 3: Save Gas, Only Mow Where You Go
Thrifty Gardening Tips Part 4: Think Small Plants
Thrifty Gardening Tips Part 5: Make Compost
Thrifty Gardening Tips Part 6: Making a List


Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 5 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. My big thing is the height of the plants. I hate an out of order garden and try to tier. Easier said than done!

  2. Great questions Dave. Sometimes we see a plant that we like and don’t even think about the fact that it might not work in our garden.

  3. I would like to be a list person but I break the rule every time. I do have a running list of old standbys and those on my wish list. Course, my plants get moved a lot due to this kind of buying frenzy. I’ve got so much room right now that I’m feeling a little nuts.

  4. Dave,

    One question I wish I had asked myself…Are you going to be able to take care of all the beds you create! Or How much maintenance are you able/willing to do?


  5. That’s a question that Dave needs to learn to ask himself. 🙂

  6. Great questions to ask yourself!
    My main question is, Will this plant be okay under drought conditions?
    I try to stick with drought plants but that is hard. Those pretty blooms yell at me to take them home from the garden center. Then the drought continues and I loose my pretties. argggg… I know how to answer that question with a No but I don’t…

  7. My problem is when I buy a plant at a carboot or school fair and then loose the label so when I get home I can’t look up the plant to find out where on earth in the landscape it should go: oh well, it’s a nice surprise when they come up, lol

  8. Tina,

    Height is an important consideration. I’d hate to cover up a low growing plant with something tall.


    Of course if you’re determined enough you might be able to use any plant in your garden, as long as you can compensate for what your garden doesn’t have!


    Rules are made to be broken! I prefer to just think of them as guidelines. Not every rule holds true all the time.


    As jenny mentioned I do need to realistically ask myself the same question! With two youngins’ to take care of my time is more limited than I really believe!


    No question that that’s an important question! We are just this morning receiving a small amount of much needed rain. We probably need about 10 times what we’re getting but I’ll take whatever we can get.


    I’ve done the same. I’ve even bought a plant without knowing it’s name and had to research it later. I like to use Google images and type in what I know about the plant then I just look at the pictures that come up. Hopefully I can find it but if not I can find interesting information about other plants!

    I’m a little behind on commenting this week due to a small back injury.

  9. I actually know some plant suppliers who have great looking plants at their nurseries and they don't know what it's called!

Comments are closed.

Close Menu