Looking for the best ways to save money in the garden this fall? Wait until you see these frugal fall gardening tips for a beautiful and bountiful harvest.

As the vibrant hues of summer begin to fade, it’s time to shift our focus to the fall garden. While the air turns crisp and leaves start to drop, your garden still has the potential to flourish for at least a few more months.

But the best part?

You don’t have to break the bank to achieve a bountiful autumn harvest. Whether you are growing a flower, herb, or vegetable garden, with a little planning these frugal fall gardening tips, you can save money while reaping the rewards of a thriving garden.

Learn how to save money in the garden this fall with these budget-friendly tips.

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close up of pink coreopsis flowers

The Best Frugal Fall Gardening Tips

I’m always looking for ways to save money in the garden. Cause let’s face it, it can be an expensive hobby, am I right?

So if there’s a way to save money in the garden, I’m all about it. And over the years, I’ve learned a few ways to be a bit more frugal with my love for gardening.

Here are some of my best money-saving tips when gardening in the fall.

Save and Sow Seeds

Why spend money on new seeds when you can save and reuse the seeds from your summer flowers and crops?

Properly drying and storing seeds from plants like sunflowers, zinnias, celosia, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and beans can provide you with a cost-effective source for next year’s garden.

Just remember to label and properly store them in a cool, dry place for best results.

Scraping the sunflower seeds out of the flower heads onto the table.

The Benefits of Sowing Seeds in Late Summer for Fall Crops

As the summer sun starts to mellow and the days gradually become shorter, many gardeners may assume that the growing season is drawing to a close.

However, the late summer period offers a fantastic opportunity to extend your gardening endeavors and enjoy a bountiful harvest well into the fall.

One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by sowing seeds in late summer for fall crops. Here’s why you should do it!

Extended Growing Season

Sowing seeds in late summer allows you to take advantage of the lingering warmth in the soil and the still-warm daytime temperatures.

Many cool season vegetable crops thrive in these conditions, which can lead to a longer growing season compared to spring-planted crops. This extended season gives your plants more time to mature and produce abundant yields.

raised garden beds in the backyard on gravel -top blog posts from 2021
Fall Gardening With Cooler Temperatures

Fall crops benefit from cooler temperatures that typically arrive as summer transitions into autumn.

Cooler weather can mitigate the stress that heat can impose on plants during the peak of summer, reducing the risk of bolting (premature flowering) in certain crops like lettuce and spinach.

The result is often better-tasting and more tender produce.

close up of creme caramel coreopsis
Reduced Pest Pressure

Late summer sowings often encounter fewer pest problems compared to earlier in the growing season.

Many common garden pests start to decline as the temperatures cool, which means your fall crops may experience less damage from insects. This can lead to healthier plants and less reliance on pesticides or other pest management techniques.

However, it is still a good idea to use companion planting strategies when growing a fall vegetable harvest to help ensure a healthy garden.

close up of calendula in the garden
Calendula flowers
Consistent Moisture

Late summer usually brings more consistent moisture levels, with fewer periods of intense heat that can dry out the soil.

This means less watering from you and helps provide a more stable environment for seed germination and seedling growth.

Additionally, young plants have a better chance of establishing strong root systems before winter arrives, setting them up for success in the following growing season.

Ideal for Root Crops

Root vegetables like carrots, beets, and radishes thrive when sown in late summer for fall harvest.

The cooler soil temperatures encourage these crops to develop better flavor and texture, as the sugars stored in their roots are more slowly converted to starch. The result is often sweeter and crisper produce.

lettuce in the raised garden beds
Efficient Space Utilization

As summer crops start to fade, you can repurpose areas of your garden that have become vacant. By sowing fall crops in these spaces, you maximize the use of your garden beds and ensure that your soil remains productive throughout the growing season.

Crop Diversity

Late summer sowings allow you to diversify what you are growing. While many spring and summer crops are well-known, fall crops can introduce new and exciting flavors to your table. Experimenting with different varieties and types of vegetables can be both educational and enjoyable.

close up of lettuce in the raised garden beds in potager

Sustainable Gardening

Opting for fall crops through late summer sowings aligns with sustainable gardening practices.

It reduces food miles by providing fresh produce from your own garden later in the year when store-bought options might be shipped from distant locations. This can contribute to a lower carbon footprint and a more self-reliant approach to food.

Homemade Compost and Leaf Mold

Instead of purchasing pricey fertilizers, create your own nutrient-rich compost from kitchen scraps, yard waste, and fallen leaves.

Not only does this reduce your waste footprint, but it also enriches your soil naturally, leading to healthier plants.

By composting and making leaf mold, you’ll save money and contribute to a more sustainable garden ecosystem.

Limelight Hydrangeas and Beautyberry are the best fall garden flowers
Limelight hydrangea flowers and callicarpa berries in fall

Plant Perennials, Shrubs and Trees

Fall is THE BEST TIME to introduce new perennial plants, shrubs, and trees into your garden. These hardy plants come back year after year, saving you money on annual replacements.

Look for native perennials that thrive in your region’s climate, requiring less water and maintenance in the long run.

But the reason fall is the best time to plant new things, is because nurseries sell them off at a huge discount the closer we approach winter. So you can save a lot of money purchasing plants if you do this in the fall.

And if you wait long enough, you can get significant discounts at the register because the discounts increase from late September-ish through October. I love to purchase new plants in mid-late October because that’s when I find the best deals where I live and there’s still a decent amount of stock to choose from.

While it is true you can plant anytime the ground is not frozen, the best times are generally in spring and fall. However, I prefer to purchase and plant in the fall because the plants establish a little easier and you can pick them up at a discount.

cottage garden in fall at sunset with sedum autumn joy, rudbeckia, celosia and snapdragons
Front Yard Cottage Garden in Fall

Why Plants Establish Easier When Planted in Fall

When planted in fall, perennials, shrubs, and trees have a better shot at acclimating to their new homes.


Because their roots have a chance to develop in winter.

While spring is also a good time to plant, it really takes a good year for plants, shrubs, and trees to acclimate and establish.

When we plant in spring, the summer heat can be brutal, especially for shrubs and trees. So you might be constantly watering to help them along. If you aren’t diligent at keeping them hydrated, they may suffer after planting.

In my experience, I’ve found greater success growing and establishing when I plant in the fall.

close up of the front porch in fall with corn stalks, pumpkins, rudbeckia and more fall garden flowers

Mulch for Moisture

If you notice your mulch getting a little thin, apply a fresh around your plants before winter sets in. Mulch helps retain soil moisture, regulates temperature, and suppresses weed growth.

Buy Pansies in the Fall

When you buy pansies in the fall, you’re essentially setting the stage for a dazzling display of early spring blooms.

Pansies are cold-hardy and can withstand frosty temperatures, which means they establish strong root systems during the fall and can bounce back in spring.

These well-established roots lead to vigorous growth when the weather warms up in spring, ensuring an early burst of color in your garden.

If you aren’t sure whether this will work in your garden, what do you have to lose if you are planting them anyway? Give it shot!

close up of purple pansies and violas

Hold Off Buying Chrysanthemums

Holding off on buying chrysanthemums until fall is a common practice due to their short bloom time and lack of ability to deal with warmer summer-like temperatures.

When you buy them in August or early September it is a lot more work to grow and care for them.

So hold off buying them until temperatures in your locality are more seasonal so they are easier to care for and less likely to dry out.

close up of pink garden mums
front porch swing in fall with abelia huecheras and houseplants

Rainwater Harvesting

Make the most of autumn showers by setting up rain barrels to collect rainwater. This free water source can be used to hydrate your garden during dry spells, reducing your reliance on the hose and saving on water bills.

DIY Garden Structures, Birdhouses, and Fall Decor

But fall gardening season can be so much more than just working in the gardens. You can make beautiful home decor for free using things you probably already have on hand.

Whether it’s trellises for climbing plants or raised garden beds, consider building garden structures yourself using reclaimed materials.

It’s also a great idea to build birdhouses for our feathered friends to provide shelter for them to nest.

Pallets, old wood, and even fallen branches can be repurposed to create functional and aesthetically pleasing additions to your garden.

DIY Birdhouse in fall garden with limelight hydrangea flowers -How to Build a Birdhouse
DIY Birdhouse
good directions birdhouse with celosia on a shepherds hook in the garden
Good Directions Birdhouse surrounded by celosia

But you can do so much more with flowers and crops from your garden too! Why let those pretty flowers go to waste when you can prolong the season by using them in other ways.

For example, you can try making this super simple hydrangea wreath for free. It is ridiculously easy to do and makes beautiful home decor for fall.

Just make sure you choose aging blooms that look a little vintage with a papery feel.

DIY Simple Hydrangea Wreath using what you have on hand and cutting flowers from the garden

Or you can make this easy front door wreath using other types of flowers in your garden.

If you’ve got some old wreaths lying around that no longer serve a purpose, make them fresh and new again with aging flowers from your garden.

But you can make other types of fall decor by drying your flowers too! And if you want to dry hydrangea flowers, I’ve got a super simple way to dry those.

The season doesn’t have to end outside when you can enjoy them in and around your home as the temperatures dip.

DIY Fall garden wreath with sunflowers, celosia, zinnias and ivy
I love this fall garden wreath DIY with the ivy

Preserve and Store

As the growing season winds down, don’t let your harvest go to waste. Fall gardening on a budget includes preserving excess fruits and vegetables through canning, freezing, or drying.

I’ve successfully frozen lots of vegetables from the garden to use in soups, stews, sauces, and salsas later in winter.

By storing your homegrown produce, you’ll have a supply of fresh goodies long after the gardening season ends, reducing the need to purchase store-bought alternatives.

fresh garden tomatoes in a harvest basket on a table in the potager

Community Plant Swaps

Connect with fellow gardeners in your community for plant swaps. This is an excellent way to diversify your garden without spending a dime.

You can exchange seeds, cuttings, or even full-grown plants that were divided, fostering a sense of camaraderie while expanding your garden variety.

Natural Pest Control

When fall gardening this year, combat garden pests without resorting to expensive chemical treatments. Introduce natural predators like ladybugs or praying mantises to your garden.

Use companion planting techniques to minimize pest and disease problems in the garden.

Additionally, you can plant beds and container gardens with mosquito repelling plants to naturally keep the bugs away.

lettuce bed with marigolds and celery

Learn and Share Knowledge

Invest in your fall gardening know-how by reading books like my first book that you can pre-order here, joining online gardening forums, or attending local workshops.

The more you learn, the better equipped you’ll be to troubleshoot issues and maximize your harvest.

And don’t forget to share your newfound knowledge with others – building a gardening community can lead to valuable tips and shared resources among family, friends, and neighbors.

purple fall garden mums with autumn foliage

By implementing these frugal fall garden tips, you’ll discover that a beautiful and bountiful garden doesn’t have to come at a high cost.

So embrace the changing seasons and take advantage of the resources around you to create a sustainable and thriving autumn garden that saves both money and the environment.

Happy gardening!

*Remember, gardening practices and tips can vary based on location and climate. Be sure to adapt these suggestions to suit your specific circumstances.

close up of pink coreopsis flowers

More About Frugal Fall Gardening Tips

Do you have any favorite fall gardening tips that save money? I would love to know more in the comments below.

best frugal fall gardening tips graphic with 5 pics of fall gardens

Thank you for following along.

Happy planting – enjoy your day! xo

Stacy Ling bricksnblooms logo
stacy ling cutting dahlias strawflowers, dahlias and zinnias in the potager garden

Now let’s tour my garden and see what’s blooming and looks good right now so you get some ideas of what to plant for next year’s fall garden.

Front Entry Garden

The front entry garden is probably my favorite garden right now. I love all the fall colors! It has also been a haven for bees and butterflies. I even saw a few monarchs zipping around from Sedum to Sedum.

This week, I am loving the Hydrangea Paniculata! The long, graceful branches with big beautiful blooms make such a statement in the fall border! I am also loving Sedum Autumn Joy, Asters and the Ornamental Grasses.

As we move around the border, check out how much my Sedum has deepened in color since last week! I’m telling you…this is one of my favorite plants and a garden must-have!

Fall Garden Tip that Will Save Money
Fall Garden Tip that Will Save Money
Fall Garden Tip that Will Save Money
Love love love these gorgeous purple Asters!
Fall Garden Tip that Will Save Money
I’m new to the Dahlia scene because they are tender here and I did not want to dig them out every fall while we were running from activity to activity with the kids. But now that I have a little more time, I am planning to add more dahlias next year! I LOVE them!!!
Fall Garden Tip that Will Save Money
I love how the color in the Sedum is echoed in the Ornamental Grass. The Knockout Roses also have a few blooms on them and add to the deep pink color palette.
Fall Garden Tip that Will Save Money
I can’t believe some of the Echinacea is still going!
Mailbox Garden

As I walk around the mailbox border, I am really happy that we changed out the mailbox and painted the front door. What a difference those two small changes made!

I love the mix of Sedum and Asters combined with my Clematis and spring annuals. I’m hoping the nursery acquires Pansies soon – I am ready to tuck a few in this border with a few small pumpkins.

Fall Garden Tip that Will Save Money
Fall Garden Tip that Will Save Money
Fall Garden Tip that Will Save Money
Sedum Autumn Joy
If you look back through prior tours, you can really see how much color and texture Sedum Autumn Joy adds to the borders.
Well Garden

The well garden may be winding down, but there are lots of plants still strutting their fall stuff! The Zebra Grass is so big it’s starting to fall over after the last rain we had. I may need to stake it up if I want to neaten up the border. ?

Smoketree still adds that reddish-deep purple hue to the garden. Its leaves are just starting to turn. There is nothing quite like Smoketree’s Fall color. It is stunning!

Caryopteris and the bright purple berries of Callicarpa add additional color and texture to this bed. I cut back the Butterfly Weed to neaten up the garden a bit. I’m considering tucking a mum or two in here, but I’m not sure yet.

Fall Garden Tip that Will Save Money
Love the bright blue Caryopteris blooms combined with Zebra Grass and Smoketree.
fall garden transitioning to winter
Notice the powdery mildew on my Peonies. They are done and ready to be cut back. But because I like the garden to look full, I’ll keep them up another week or so. I don’t mind the silvery look of the foliage right now.
fall garden transitioning to winter
Callicarpa is one of my favorite small shrubs. I love how the foliage is getting lighter as the temps cool down, The vibrant foliage helps the bright purple berries stand out more.
Look at these gorgeous berries!!!❤️
Zebra Grass
I love the plumes and texture of Zebra Grass. So gorgeous in the fall garden!
Backyard Gardens

The backyard borders are starting to wind down. The backyard border has really muted in tone and some of the Hostas are showing signs they are dying back. While it still looks really pretty, it does not look as vibrant as it did last week. This will change soon as the foliage starts to turn because some of the shrubs planted have brilliant fall color. So as much as this garden is winding down, the fall foliage will kick it back up again.

Fall Garden Tip that Will Save Money
It’s amazing how much the color muted in this border since last week! The Hostas are starting to brown and die back. Love how pretty it all looks!
Leucothoe is a great small, low growing shrub for shade to part-shade.
hydrangea plant in bloom
My Endless Hydrangea has a number of blooms on it now! Yay!
Fall Garden Tip that Will Save Money
I’m trying to spend as much time out here as possible before the temps start to dip. The containers still look pretty lush, but I’m noticing the leaves starting to change. My houseplants will make their way back indoors sometime in the next few weeks!
fall garden tip that will save you money graphic with 4 fall garden pics
Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed this week’s garden tour and appreciate you joining me! If you missed a few tours or want to see how the garden has progressed during the growing season, you can see them here:

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