Cost-Effective Tips to Save on Gardening
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Starting a gorgeous garden can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune. If you’re willing to put in some extra dedication into gardening, it can turn out to be a lot more affordable than you think. There are a couple of things you can do to make your garden work for you. Here are some of the best examples of how to achieve this.
1. Patience pays off
If you’re looking to create a beautiful garden on a budget, starting off small would be your best bet. Instead of buying a bunch of plants that are already well-developed, you would be better off growing them yourself.
Smaller potted plants are both cheap and very easy to plant. Starting with something small will give you the opportunity to shape it and let it grow the way you like it. A lot of people see gorgeous and well-developed plants at the market and try to buy them immediately instead of simply getting seeds or smaller versions to grow on their own. It doesn’t even take all that long for most plants to grow out.
2. Do the math
Even experienced gardeners tend to forget that plants grow. They can grow quite a bit before reaching their natural limitations. During this process, they can inhibit the growth and development of other plants in their vicinity. This is a rather common gardening mistake.
You want to prevent this by planning ahead. If you know a certain plant will grow several feet in the air, you shouldn’t position it near smaller ones that require quite a bit of sunlight. Some plants won’t make it obvious how much they’ve spread because their roots are the ones that are taking up space. Do the proper research in order to find out how much space certain plants need.
3. Research your climate
Different plants manage better in different climates. This might seem like an obvious piece of information, but you would be surprised. A lot of people tend to forget this and fancy themselves the perfect green thumb.
Growing plants that can thrive in your conditions would be much more efficient than introducing something that is foreign. With the right tools and additions, you could make just about anything grow in your garden, but why bother when there are a plethora of beautiful plants that will thrive with just a tiny bit of effort?
4. Position the garden
If you have a sprawling backyard that goes on forever, you need to decide where to put your garden. Some of your plants will require quite a bit of attention and you should be able to get to them without feeling like it’s too much of a chore.
Sunlight is a pretty important factor as well. Try not to plant your delicate flowers too close to a large tree. Even if sunlight can reach it for most of the day, losing a couple of hours is pretty detrimental for some plants.
Make sure it’s close enough so that your watering hose can reach it with ease. As long as you don’t lose motivation by the time you reach it, your garden is in a good spot.
5. Make your own compost
You’re going to need quite a bit of compost if you want to grow some healthy plants. Compost won’t cost you all that much, but there’s no reason you can’t save some money on it. People tend to forget that they make a lot of very useful bio-waste in their kitchens. Your kitchen scraps could provide the soil and plants with some quality nutrients. One man’s trash is another plant’s treasure, as they say.
Best of all, it’s a free resource that you’re just throwing away otherwise. Some common things that you can turn into compost include egg shells, banana peels, and shrimp tails. These things are making their way into your trash when they should be heading below your garden. If you grind them up and put them into the ground, you’re adding some additional nutrients that your plants are sure to utilize.
6. Make friends with other gardeners
Making friends is always a good idea, but it’s even better when you’re both benefiting from it. The best way to learn new and better ways to manage your garden is to talk to other experienced gardeners. You would be surprised at the generosity many gardeners possess. When some heavy lifting is required in the garden, you can help each other out and save on time. Gardeners have to look out for each other, after all. It’s not uncommon to see gardeners sharing their bounty when there’s an overabundance of products.
It shouldn’t be too much of a problem to connect with other gardeners, considering the fact that you already have something you both enjoy. Conversations will hardly be dull, and you’re always going to be busy with your gardens.
7. Grow what you eat
A lot of gardeners tend to grow things that they find pretty and interesting. It might be time to add some practicality to that equation. If you and your family go through bags of tomatoes every single week, it might be wise to start growing some in your garden. That way, you can save up on groceries during harvest season and end up with spare tomatoes to boot. Take a look at what’s the most expensive ingredient that you use in the kitchen and find out if you can grow it in your garden.
The best part about gardening is how efficient it is. You spend a couple of hours working and you end up with products year after year. Obviously, there’s a bit more maintenance and effort involved, but it can hardly compare with the end results that you receive.
8. Harvest rainfall
Water is the most precious resource in your garden. You need lots of it to help your plants grow. A lot of your time will be spent watering plants that need to be well-hydrated. Even if your location is prone to tons of rainfall, you’ll still need to keep your watering habits up. This is because certain plants require a consistent amount of water in order to grow efficiently. A couple of dry days could leave it damaged for a time.
The best way to save water is to use what mother nature is already giving you. Rainfall is a resource that you can utilize even more. Not every droplet will land on the ground where your plants are located, but you can make sure that a certain amount of rainfall can be set aside and used for later.
If you set up a rain barrel, you can save a lot of money by watering your plants for free. Make it extra wide and you will get more than enough water even during a light drizzle. It might not seem like much at first, but you’ll get thousands of litres for free per year, which can add up for your water bill.
9. Attend a seed swap
When your garden is flourishing, what are you going to do with all those excess seeds? Well, there’s a gardener on the other side of the town that might be asking themselves that same question. There’s probably a way that you can help each other out and make it beneficial for the both of you.
This is the principle behind seed swaps. Why buy any seeds if you can trade the excess from your bounty and get a bunch of free plants. Check Craigslist and Facebook for the various events that are hosted by gardeners from your city. Seed swaps are extremely popular during harvest seasons.
10. Plant in stages
Planting everything at once is easy and it isn’t time-consuming. However, you might not be able to enjoy the results all that much. If you suddenly have a ton of viable tomatoes, you probably won’t be able to use them all at once. Some will rot in the garden while others will rot while they wait to be eaten.
Planting things in stages will allow you to enjoy the gradual increase in the amount of produce. Over a reasonable period of time, you’re going to get more and more products and you can use them more efficiently
11. Keep it safe
When protecting your garden, you need to take into account some external factors. There are lots of animals that would love to take a large bite out of your delicious garden. Keeping them out is essential if you want the plants to thrive in a safe environment. For starters, you’re going to need a sturdy fence. You can’t stop birds, but smaller critters will be put off by physical barriers.
When it comes to people, you might want to consider installing strong padlocks for your gate. You might not think people would want to break into your backyard for plants, but the fruit isn’t the only thing they might be after. Your gardening tools cost money and they could be targets for theft.
12. Reuse older bricks
If you weren’t satisfied with your old plant bed, you might want to recreate something in another part of your garden. When you decide to dig up the bricks, don’t be careless with them. You could end up reusing them for the new plant bed.
Even if some of them are cracked and bruised, they could still be of use. Put the most damaged ones in inconspicuous positions. Check if there’s an angle from which the brick is mostly untouched. There’s no reason to spend a bunch of money on something as simple as a brick.
Gardening can demand a lot of your attention Cost-Effective Tips to Save on Gardening are useful things to know. Depending on the sheer scope of your green haven, you could be looking at hours of dedicated work. However, every gardening enthusiast knows that it’s worth it in the end. You end up with the fruit of your labour and some literal fruit to go along with it. If you stick to some of these tips, your wallet will learn to love gardening as much as you do.
Liam Smith is a young and aspiring Australian blogger with a passion for everything related to home, design and lifestyle. He has a B.Sc. in Interior design and is an avid reader.
I hope you enjoyed this post on Cost-Effective Tips to Save on Gardening. You might also like my post on how to help your garden survive a heat wave