Advertisement
Smart Buying

Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

You might not have to spend a cent to make your yard look great.

After a long, harsh winter, your garden might be in desperate need of some TLC. If you received a tax refund, you might want to put that money to use sprucing up your yard to improve your home’s curb appeal. But don’t despair if you don’t have extra cash to improve your lawn and garden. There are several freebies that can help you get the green space around your home looking great.

 

Free trees. Some local governments give away trees (typically seedlings) as part of Arbor Day celebrations. National Arbor Day is the last Friday in April, but many states observe it on different days. Check your local government’s Web site to find out if it is giving away trees as part of an Arbor Day celebration. And some cities offer free trees as part of other events. For example, West Sacramento, Cal., gives residents up to two free 15-gallon trees a year if they attend a workshop on tree planting and care.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Utility companies also offer customers free trees throughout the year to help reduce energy use through strategic planting, so check with yours to see if it offers such a program.

You can get ten free trees when you join the Arbor Day Foundation. Membership is $10, so the trees technically aren’t free -- but it’s a small amount to pay for so many trees. Plus, your membership entitles you to a 33% discount on trees when you buy online from the foundation.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Free mulch. Many cities, counties and utility companies offer residents free mulch made from recycled leaves or wood from tree trimmings and tree removals if you pick it up. Some actually deliver the mulch for free.

Free seeds. The National Gardening Association has a seed swap forum that allows people to find seeds they want or share extra seeds with others. Fill out an online swap form to specify the seeds you want, then the association will contact you when someone can provide those seeds. Ideally, it should be a two-way exchange, but you don’t have to have seeds to swap in order to receive some.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Free fertilizer. Americans spend $5.25 billion on fertilizers for their lawns, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Yet, you can get fertilizer for free by composting leaves, grass clippings, vegetable scraps and other organic waste. See the Eartheasy.com guide to composting to learn more.

Free gardening advice. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on gardening guides when you can get information for free from your local cooperative extension office. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has an interactive map that can help you find the office closest to you.

Free tools. Some cities have tool lending libraries that let residents borrow a variety of tools -- including garden tools -- for free. Check this list to see if there’s one near you, but note that some of these libraries require a membership fee. Or you can check Freecylce.org -- a nonprofit network of people offering items they no longer want for free -- to see if anyone in your community is giving away garden tools.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Medicare Basics: 11 Things You Need to Know
Medicare

Medicare Basics: 11 Things You Need to Know

There's Medicare Part A, Part B, Part D, medigap plans, Medicare Advantage plans and so on. We sort out the confusion about signing up for Medicare --…
September 16, 2020
Election 2020: Joe Biden's Tax Plans
taxes

Election 2020: Joe Biden's Tax Plans

With the economy in trouble, tax policy takes on added importance in the 2020 presidential election. So, let's take a look at what Joe Biden has said …
September 18, 2020
5 Unfortunate Estate Planning Myths You Probably Believe
estate planning

5 Unfortunate Estate Planning Myths You Probably Believe

These all-too-common misconceptions can steer your estate plans in the wrong direction right from the start. Here’s how to overcome them and tips to b…
September 17, 2020

Recommended

18 Things You Can't Return to Amazon
Smart Buying

18 Things You Can't Return to Amazon

Before tossing these items into your virtual shopping cart, be sure to read Amazon's return policy first.
September 17, 2020
No Summer Vacation This Year? What to Do with the Money You’ve Saved
spending

No Summer Vacation This Year? What to Do with the Money You’ve Saved

Maybe that trip to Hawaii you dreamed about didn’t happen, but look at the bright side: You have a nice little windfall to plan for.
September 2, 2020
When Is Amazon Prime Day 2020?
spending

When Is Amazon Prime Day 2020?

Circumstances beyond its control have forced Amazon to move its annual Christmas-in-July Amazon Prime Day blowout sale in 2020 to ... later.
August 27, 2020
The Five Top Consumer Complaints
Smart Buying

The Five Top Consumer Complaints

Here are the top five complaints from a survey of state and local agencies from 19 states.
August 27, 2020