We’d all like to have a garden as beautiful as Kew. But few of us have the resources, even if we have the time. The good news, though, is that gardening need not be expensive. In fact, there are many ways that you can save money and still have the stunning garden you’ve always wanted. Take a look at some of these ideas to help you do just that.
Don’t Buy Plants In Flower
Plants in flower at the garden centre typically command a much higher premium than those still in bud. It’s hard for garden centres to get the timing right, and flowering windows are usually short, so prices are higher. Choose perennials or still-budding plants instead for significant savings.
Spend more on garden tools
You might think that buying cheap tools at the garden centre would be an obvious solution. But it turns out that cheap tools aren’t necessarily the most economical, especially if you use your tools often. Much better to buy high-quality equipment that will last than invest in something that will only survive a couple of seasons, if that.
Buy bulbs from discount Stores
Buying bulbs brand new from specialists can be expensive, especially if they sell only rare varieties. To make gardening cheap, you want to go to stores that buy bulbs in bulk and then flog them at low prices. Find bulbs at discount stores and stock up there. You’ll save a lot of money.
Reseed Using your Crops
Obviously, you’ll need seeds to begin any new crop line. But once the first batch arrives, there’s usually no need to buy any more. Prolific seed-producing plants include tomatoes, courgettes, and most fruits. Make sure you keep your seeds in sealed containers in the fridge, or some other cool dark place, to make sure that they survive intact until the next planting season.
Don’t Shop At Big Garden Centres
Big garden centres have significant overheads. Many run cafes, outdoor entertainment for children, and animal sanctuaries. Most of those activities don’t pay for themselves, so they have to be included in the price of the plants. Smaller nurseries, however, usually focus much more on produce, meaning that they can offer lower rates. If you can, stick to these kinds of businesses, rather than the big names in your area.
Leave lots of Room for Plants to Grow
There’s no point buying plants only to have them die on you when you plant them. Replacing plants is expensive. Therefore, make sure that you leave plenty of room between bulbs to prevent cannibalisation. Also, use the correct fertiliser to make sure that each plant has the best possible chance of survival. You can find it here.
Mulch Around Plants
Mulching around plants is another way you can help them to survive. Mulching reduces the amount of water lost from soil and interrupts weed growth. If you can avoid it, don’t buy premade mulch from the store. Instead, try to make your own from old vegetable clippings, prunings, and soiled animal bedding, if safe. The best mulch contains a variety of material, providing both hard and soft nitrogen-fixing constituents.
Use Second Hand Paving
Buying paving brand new can be expensive, especially if you go for something designer. The good news, though, is that there is often no need to splash out on something fancy, especially if you can get paving reduced or free second hand. If you notice a landscaper doing work in your area, ask them if they will be ripping up any paving. Most will let you take it away for free, or ask for a small fee. Either way, you end up saving money.
The bigger the plant, the more it costs. So savvy gardeners always buy plants small and then wait for them to grow. While you may not get the effect that you want immediately, buying small pays off big later. Most shrubs reach maturity without a half dozen seasons. Trees can take longer, obviously, but fast growers can become surprisingly large in a short period of time.
Buy From Forestry Companies
The Forestry Commission has a duty to manage tree growth. As a result, it must often remove trees from certain areas, funded by tax money. Thus, when it sells these trees, it can do so at a price that undercuts the rest of the market, providing cash-conscious gardeners like you with an opportunity. Often trees sell for pennies.
Seek Out Local Plant Sellers
Gardening is a community sport. As a result, many villages up and down the country have garden sales, offering low prices for premium seeds, bulbs, and saplings. If you’re a budget-conscious gardener, it might be worth forging a relationship with the local Women’s Institute, and other organisations, which focus on gardening products.
Make your own Compost
Buying compost from the store is not only expensive, but it’s also a big effort carrying it home. Making your own, on the other hand, solves a bunch of problems. For starters, it costs less: you can produce high-quality compost just from the byproducts of living at home. But it also allows you to live sustainably. All your old crops and cuttings go into making your new plants, and the cycle continues.
Become Friends With A Landscape Gardener
The biggest pet peeve of a landscape gardener is dealing with all the waste that landscape gardening produces. Often, landscape gardeners have to remove skips full of material from their clients’ homes, leading to high costs. If you can help them in some way, then they will be eternally grateful. Asking them to give you unwanted pottery, soil, mulch and gravel not only provides you with free resources for your garden but helps them too. You’ll be friends in no time.
Use Old Tins For Planting
Beautiful ceramic or clay pots look great, but they also cost a lot of money. What’s more, for most plants, they’re unnecessary. You can substitute clay pots for all kinds of regular household containers, like buckets, cake tin, and even tin cans.