Gardening need not be expensive, with some advice you could be saving money everywhere in your garden from your tool box to your vegetable plot.
Buy seeds, plug plants and self-seeding plants. When you buy seeds and plug plants you get more for your money but also take on a lot more work. As long as you are prepared to grow from seed and grow on your plug plants it’s a brilliant way to save money. Let your plants run to seed and collect them before they fall for the next growing season.
Growing your own fruit and vegetables will cut a massive chunk off your food bill, especially if you have a big family to feed. Only grow what you need, wasting vegetables will cost you money and you’ll be surprised how quickly things like tomatoes, beans, peas, courgettes and salad will grow in abundance. If you are lacking space but want to grow your own, try growing in containers, hanging baskets and on windowsills.
Set up a seed swap or buy larger amounts of bedding plants and share them with your friends and neighbours. Seed swaps are the ideal way to bring a community together and learn more about what grows best in your area. If you know your friends and neighbours like to grow from seed, suggest seed swapping every season, you’ll have fantastic new varieties to show for it.
Recycle material or use cheap material to get rid of pests. Coffee grounds, egg shells and grit make fantastic deterrents for slugs and snails. If you’re trying to protect your vegetable plot from birds, simply hang old CDs using some thread and a length of bamboo or branch stuck in the ground between vegetables.
Re-paint and repair before you buy. Garden benches may look tired and old but a little bit of DIY and a lick of paint can make a whole world of difference.
Make your own bird feeders and wildlife habitats. Instead of buying your bird feeders why not create your own? There are plenty of simple designs that will keep you and your birds happy.
Create your own mulch and leaf mould. These things are invaluable to a garden and don’t have to cost a penny. Build up your own compost pile or leaf pile and leave it to decompose for a year or longer before putting it in your garden.
Make sure your garden is water-wise. If you live in an area that frequently suffers from drought, choose to plant drought-tolerant plants. This will save you money and stop you having to replace plants that have suffered in the drought.
Know your soil. Knowing which soil your garden is made up of will ensure you are buying plants that are right for your garden. Certain plants will grow better in a certain soil which will save you money in the long run.
Buy second-hand equipment or simply make sure you don’t leave yours outside to become rusty and weather-battered. Tools are often left outside to suffer the weather much the same as your plants. Make sure you take care of your gardening tools and they’ll last a lot longer.