For many of us, our garden is every bit as important as the rooms inside our house. They bring us pleasure and we work hard to make them as tidy and presentable as possible. Unfortunately, they can often feel like they are also giant money pits that suck up all your time, energy, and finances. It doesn’t need to be this way though. Check out these nifty little hacks that will make your gardening cost effective and guilt free.
1. Buy seeds
It can be so tempting to buy the pretty little seedlings or flowers in full bloom down at the garden centre in order to give your garden that instant pop of colour and make it look that much more established. However, really try to avoid doing this. Your average packet of seeds will cost you much less than one single seedling, and it will eventually yield a lot more flowers. Plus there is something satisfying about seeing those little guys push their way up through the soil over time, and know that you are the one who grew them.
2. Make your own compost
Don’t spend money on costly bags of compost from the garden shops. Compost can easily be made at home, and it is also a great way to be more environmentally friendly. Used coffee grounds, tea bags, potato peelings, carrot shavings; they all make great additions to a compost heap and they’re a free way of enriching your garden's soil.
3. Take cuttings
Do you like that plant? Have you decided that you want two instead of just the one? Great! Don’t buy it! Instead, learn how to take cuttings from a healthy plant, and then grow a second plant from that. You get double the value at no extra cost!
4. Double use water
If you boil water for your vegetables, don’t throw that water down the drain afterwards. Instead, wait for it to cool and then pop it out on the garden. The same goes for bath water. If you don’t use chemical soaps, then the water you use in your bath can easily be put on your garden after you’re finished. It’s a great way to recycle valuable resources, and to keep your water bill down whilst still tending to your garden's needs. If you have the space it is also worth setting up a water butt that will collect rainwater. It’s a great source of free water that you can use on the garden.
5. Grow from your left overs
If you want a veggie patch then you don’t necessarily need to shell out for multiple packets of seeds. Instead, you can cut up your potatoes and sweet potatoes and plant them. The same goes for carrots, fennel, onions, garlic, ginger…. The list is endless! Any veggies you have lying around in the cupboard, it’s likely you can chop them up and pop them in the ground and they will continue to give and give. The same goes for growing herbs. Why pay money for rosemary or basil every time you go to the supermarket when it’s actually easier to plant them and grow them? Then they’re available for you whenever you need them.
6. Leave your clippings where they land
You might not like the look of it, but trust us, leaving your grass clippings on top of the lawn after you’ve finished cutting the grass is a great source of nutrients for the soil. It’s eco friendly and the easiest thing in the world to do. After all, the grass is already there – you just need to chop it and leave it! Great fertilizer for exactly zero pounds.
7. Make your own pesticide spray
There are loads of recipes out there for organic pesticide sprays, and almost all of them contain ingredients that you already have knocking around the house. Why spend money on expensive, and harmful, chemicals, when you can make your own for free? The same goes for pest control pellets for insect such as slugs. You can easily make your own slug traps with beer or yeast, and save your self some more precious pennies.