Now that the weather has warmed up (overnight especially), thoughts turn to the garden a little more. Some of you might already be green fingered, and you might already have started growing indoors or tentatively planting outdoors… however if you’re new to gardening, you might find some of our tips for gardening on a budget helpful.
Gardening can be costly – you have to buy so much to just get started: pots, seeds, compost and the rest! This is where we can start saving some money straight away though.
Instead of using pots to start off your plants, use toilet rolls. You already have these in the house, so just keep them when the loo roll runs out, and use them to plant your seeds when it’s time to start growing indoors. What’s also great is, the toilet rolls are biodegrade!
The cost of compost has increased over the past year, and while it might be too late for you to save on the pennies now, if you start creating a compost heap now, you will have great quality compost next year. All you need is particular food waste (Google what’s suitable, some food waste isn’t), organic matter and the odd egg box to help soak up too much moisture. There are lots of ways you can create a compost heap, and they can be as small or as large as you need. It’s a great way to save you on money in the future, by using the waste you already create at home.
Seeds, essential for any gardener of course. You can buy seeds from your local gardening centre, and they will all vary in price depending on the brand usually. However, there are plenty of ways we can save those pennies when it comes to seeds as well. Our first port of call for you would be to check out if you have any local seed libraries or swap boxes – people give their surplus seeds and you can then swap or take what you need. This helps everyone! You could also keep an eye out for deals at any time of the year, from £4.99 to £0.99 a packet, the seeds will keep for a couple of years. Finally, if you have the chance, you could also let some of your flowers and produce ‘go to seed’ and collect those seeds. Our top tip here, allow them to dry out and store in a paper bag or envelope.
Greenhouses and cold frames, if you have the room, are excellent pieces of equipment for any garden. You can often find greenhouses going for free on swap shops online (they usually require the buyer to dismantle and collect, but it could save you hundreds of pounds). For a cold frame, you could use an old window (or source one from a scrap yard), and simple make your old cold frame. Create your 4 walls using old bricks or pallets, and place the window on top – simple! It’ll do the job just as well as buying a new one, which at it’s cheapest could be £80.
Depending on the size of your garden, you might be worried about your water bill. We’d definitely recommend, if you have the room to look at a water butt – this will save you plenty of water. Did you know, you can also use ‘grey water’ every now and again (especially useful in times of hosepipe bans)? Grey water is the water waste from your bath and shower. It can’t be used too often due to the soap and chemicals, but you can use it every now and again if you need to.
There are plenty more tips that we could share, but these should get you started!