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Tips on saving money on your gardening this year! PDF Print E-mail

Wednesday, 09 March 2011 03:12
Gardening Cheap - It takes is a little thought and a bit of experimenting but you can save a lot.
In a recent UK survey of 1,000 people it was found that 26% were saving as much as £200 a year by growing their own fruit and vegetables. Most in the survey said they were doing it more for fun than a way to save money.
B&Q the largest outdoor goods retailer, reported that as a consequence of this attitude, sales of vegetable seed have rocketed by 27 per cent. Another contributing factor is that customers can see that their food is fresh and organic and tastes better than what is being sold by the UK supermarket chains.
Growing your own food can indeed save you money, but you have to remember it always requires time and energy; you might put a price on that and decide the savings are not so impressive.
Still, growing your own food is definitely an option worth considering.
Here are a few ways you can save money by, or if you would prefer, gardening on the "cheap."
- Divide and conquer
Why buy more plants when you can divide ones you already have to fill empty spaces?
Lift your shasta daisies, echinacea, hostas, hardy geraniums and rudbeckia, and slice clumps into pieces.
You can fill all those dead spaces for nothing.
- Shop for bargains
You can often find small family-owned cottage nurseries, which are able to sell plants, particularly summer bedding plants, for less because they raise them from seed in their own greenhouses. Garden centres often have to mark up prices to cover their higher operating costs.
Take a drive through the countryside and see if you see any keen gardeners selling their plants. Another great spot to find bargains is at village fairs, car boot sales, WI events and country shows.
- Go for seeds
Grow your own plants from seed. Marigolds, petunias, lobelia, alyssum, salvia, snapdragons and nicotiana are all easy to grow in a pot plonked on the top of the fridge.
Or you can simply sprinkle half-hardy annual seeds such as sweet peas and California poppies directly into the garden.
- Do it yourself
You certainly can save money by doing your own landscaping. Do your research and you can often do simple projects like installing a brick patio or a small retaining wall. There are many handy tips on you tube, the BBC gardening site etc.
- Invest in better tools
It can be expensive having to keep replacing basic tools such as a trowel or pruners because they break after only a few months of use.
Spend a little more on a quality tool that will last for years and you will save a lot of money over its lifespan. A god quality made tool can last 50 years. A cheap product made out of weak material can last a few hours.
- Plant more carefully
One of the best ways to save money gardening is to think more carefully about what you plant where. Plants often die or get diseases that require spraying when they are planted in the wrong place. Check the labels of the plants you buy!
Remember the gardener's mantra: right plant, right place. Instead of impulsively buying what jumps out at you at the garden centre, first walk your garden, identify the conditions of the places where you want to plant, and then go shopping for plants that will thrive in those specific locations.
- Join a garden club
This shouldn't, of course, be your prime motive for joining a garden club, but the fact is you often get plants for free or get to buy them at a discount when you are a member of a club. Many clubs also place bulk orders and get a break on the price. It's worth considering. In addition, you learn everything we have been talking about above and more.
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