man woman working in backyard vegetable garden

11 Little Known Ways to Get Free Seeds, Tools, and Other Gardening Supplies

There’s nothing like Spring with the promise of warmer weather just around the corner—together with soaring prices in the supermarket produce department—to awaken one’s inner gardener.

man woman working in backyard vegetable garden

Regardless of whether you’re an experienced gardener or a beginner, due to the present economic conditions, you may be hesitant to fork out money on gardening supplies and tools. Here’s some good news: There are a surprising number places where you can pick up gardening supplies for free.

1. Local Gardening Groups

Looking for gardening groups in your local area, either online via Facebook or in-person, could be a great idea. You may find that experienced gardeners are eager to help beginners get started. If any member of the group has recently upgraded their gardening equipment, has extra soil or mulch, or has plant cuttings available for propagation, they may be willing to donate these items to individuals in need.

2. Local City or County Government

The availability of free gardening supplies from your local government or park service may vary based on your location. Nevertheless, it is worth checking whether your local government offers programs that provide residents with seeds, mulch, or other supplies. In addition, your city might collect compost that you can acquire for free to use as fertilizer in your garden.

3. Local Buy Nothing Group

If you haven’t already joined your local Buy Nothing Group on Facebook, it is highly recommended that you do so as soon as possible. These groups are dedicated to helping community members fulfill their needs without purchasing new items. Members will offer items they no longer need, which they are willing to donate to someone in the community who can use them.

Keep an eye out for any gardening supplies or plants that may be available. Additionally, you can also create a post to request specific items you require, such as seed packets, mulch, or gardening tools. Submit a request to the group, and you may come across individuals who have gardening supplies sitting idle in their garage or shed.

4. Tree Service Companies

If you have connections with individuals who work for a tree service company, or are open to making new connections, they could potentially help you obtain free mulch.

Tree service firms spend much of their time cutting down trees and branches, processing them through a wood chipper, which produces an abundance of wood chips that can serve as mulch for your garden. Additionally, these wood chips could assist you in creating a low-maintenance lawn that you’ve been desiring.

starbucks coffee grounds for garden5. Starbucks


Although it may not be the first thing you think of, Starbucks can actually be a great source for free gardening supplies. The popular coffeehouse chain offers complimentary coffee grounds, which are a fantastic fertilizer for your garden. Coffee grounds are rich in essential minerals like nitrogen, iron, calcium, and magnesium, all of which promote healthy plant growth. Moreover, coffee grounds can help attract more worms to your garden and even absorb heavy metals from the soil.

6. Local Public Library

Your local public library can be an excellent source for obtaining free seeds. Take a look at the library’s calendar to see if there are any upcoming gardening events. Such events may offer free seeds or other gardening supplies to participants. Some community libraries are also finding ways to assist their city’s residents more extensively. Many have started providing free seeds to help those experiencing food insecurity to grow their food. It’s worth checking with your nearby libraries to see if they’re involved in any similar initiatives.

7. Online Marketplaces

If you’re on the hunt for free gardening supplies, consider checking out online marketplaces such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Many people use these platforms to give away items they no longer need, and you may be able to find valuable gardening supplies for free. By keeping an eye out for these listings, you can save money while still obtaining the items you need to tend to your garden.

8. Alt National Park Service

The Alt National Park Service is committed to protecting pollinators and acknowledges the vital role that bees and butterflies play in our food chain and ecosystems. In pursuit of this goal, they’re offering free packets of black-eyed Susan or butterfly milkweed seeds to people who are willing to grow them and attract these beneficial pollinators. To get a free seed packet, simply fill out the form available on their website. Note: We are aware that from time to time, this link throws an error code, which we agree is annoying. But keep trying.

blackeyed susan butterfly

9. Friends and Neighbors

Before you go out and buy gardening supplies, it’s a good idea to check with your friends and neighbors to see if they have any unused gardening tools they can give you. They might also have extra soil, mulch, or seeds that they ordered for their own garden that they’d be happy to share. Certain plants, like tomato plants, spider plants, and azaleas, can be propagated from cuttings. So if your friends or neighbors have any of these plants, it’s worth asking if they’d be willing to give you a few cuttings to grow in your own garden.

10. Your Kitchen

If you’re interested in growing your own produce, a great way to start is by saving seeds from fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, and squash the next time you eat them. Depending on your climate and the type of fruit or vegetable, you may be able to plant these seeds directly in your garden. This can be a cost-effective and rewarding way to start your own garden and enjoy fresh produce all season long.

11. Pollinator Garden Program

The Save Our Monarch Foundation  is dedicated to preserving monarch butterflies and preventing their extinction. To help achieve this objective, for a $3.00 donation they provide a  pollinator garden mix to people who are willing to plant flowers in their gardens to support monarch butterflies.

This mix contains 17 different wildflower species, including ten annuals and seven perennials. Some of the flowers in the mix include butterfly milkweeds, purple coneflowers, perennial lupines, wild bergamot, California poppies, and dwarf sunspot sunflowers.



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4 replies
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Yes, we have made that adjustment. As you might have experienced, things change. We cannot guarantee past publiaiton date. Think of $3 as a donation with a thank you gift?


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