May 17, 2012

Stretching the Plant Budget with Craigslist - It's Not Just for Casual Encounters Anymore

It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit. 
 ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Yesterday's post was about making a monthly budget dedicated to plants and gardening.  Today's post expands on that theme with a great way to get more for your plant money by using Craigslist.  In addition to being a great resource for plants and other items for your yard, Craigslist tons of items for free, or greatly discounted, that may be of interest to you.  (This may be old news to some, but if you're already familiar hopefully it's a good reminder to check out what's going on in the Craigslist world today.)


Craigslist is a community-oriented website that allows users to create posts about items for sale, job openings, and much more.  (I've bought and sold cars on the site, searched for apartments, and tried to purchase chicken coops among other activities.)  The site has separate pages for many cities and regions in the United States and around the world.  Included on the main Craigslist page for each area is a link to the 'Free' items section (located in the middle column, under the 'For Sale' heading).  In the 'Free' section you'll find all kinds of things people are looking to get rid of - firewood, pianos, cabinets, clothes, plants, and nearly anything else you can imagine.  

The 'Free' section is great resource if you have something you're not using and want to get rid of, especially if it's heavy or hard to move.  You can help out someone else and also get it moved out of your house for free.  Of course, caution should be exercised when inviting people into your home and I would recommend making sure you have someone else with you when they show up and talking to the person on the phone before arranging a pick-up.  My experience with Craigslist has been great, other than the flaky people you can run into that don't show up when they say they will. 

I've been able to pick up a number of fantastic plants and trees on Craigslist for free - some of them I had to dig up, others were in pots and just needed to be picked up.  In addition to free items, checking out estate and garage sales has been a good resource for purchasing plants for cheap.  Below are photos of some of the plants that I've gotten for free on Craigslist.

Suggested Action Steps:

  1. Visit the 'Free' section of your local Craigslist website to see if there are any plants or other free items you would enjoy
    1. There is also a 'Farm and Garden' section under the 'For Sale' heading that often has great deals on plants and related items.  (Labelled as 'farm+garden')
  2. If you find an item you like, contact the poster via the email or phone number included in their post to arrange pick up
  3. Enjoy the additions to your home or yard.  
    1. Give yourself a pat on the back for helping to keep items out of the landfill and/or trash.
  4. Utilize Craigslist to get rid of your own unwanted items and benefit your local community

Camellia trees, in the trunk of our Oldsmobile Alero. 

Norfolk Pine Tree.  Planted Halloween 2011.  This is a tall tree.

Mexican fan palm.  Heavy.

Cherimoya tree.  I'm really hoping it will fruit next year - delicious!

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