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Survive This Economy: Gardening On A Budget

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Marcus Wright prepares to begin planting a garden outside his Bolingbrook home after buying plants at a garage sale to save money. (Credit: CBS)

Marcus Wright prepares to begin planting a garden outside his Bolingbrook home after buying plants at a garage sale to save money. (Credit: CBS)

Dorothy Tucker Dorothy Tucker
Dorothy Tucker has served as a reporter for CBS 2 Chicago since 1984....
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BOLINGBROOK, Ill. (CBS) – You want a great garden, but it’s tough if you’re on a budget.

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker, with the help of experts, explains where gardeners can get high-quality plants at a very low cost.

Marcus Wright wants to fill the entire area along the side of his house, between the walkway and the house, filled with plants.

Wright said he pictures a beautiful garden outside his Bolingbrook home, but he wants to do it on a budget.

“You go to a nursery, you go to a department store … and that can be very expensive,” he said.

So instead, he went to Craigslist, did a search on plants, and found a list of garage sales.

One seller, Chris Soderstrom, takes the plants from his own huge garden, and sells them at a discount.

“If you go to the Home Depot for a half-gallon pot, you’re going to spend a minimum of $6 or $7. You go to a nursery, you’re going to spend between $10 and $12. I charge $3,” he said.

Soderstrom also sells herbs — which you can normally only find at nurseries — for half the price.

Garden clubs are another good place to shop. The secret is to buy near the end of the day.

“The club members are not going to take this inventory home. It isn’t like they open up the garden shop tomorrow, so there might be some super bargains,” said Susan Cooney, president of the Garden Clubs of Illinois.

You can find bargains at department stores, but the best time is mid or late October.

“They have all of their shrubs and trees 75% off,” Soderstrom said.

At Soderstrom’s garage sale, Marcus Wright bought herbs and day lilies. Comparable plants at a department store or nursery would cost $36. His total was only $9.

“I saved a ton of money,” he said.

He does need more plants to finish his garden, and he plans to do the rest of his shopping at garage sales and garden club sales.

With the $27 of savings so far on garden plants, so far the Wrights have saved $2,628 in all during the Survive This Economy series.

You can find more bargains on plants below:

Bolingbrook Garden Club

Craigslist Plant Sales

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