Gardening does not have to be an expensive hobby. You can garden on a tight budget, all you need is time and effort. Here are 10 tips for gardening frugally from Katie on pennywise.
1. Go organic. Organic is the best way to go and believe it or not, it is cheaper to go organic than it is to use various chemicals and fertilizers. Use organic methods of pest control such as broken egg shells to deter slugs. Use organic compost which these days is no more expensive than ordinary compost. Soak used tea leaves and use the water and leaves for your plants. Look out for more organic and cheaper ways to keep those greens healthy and flowering!
2. You don’t need expensive pots. Container and tub gardens are not only a great way for children to start experimenting with gardening but also for space saving and for gardening on a budget. Old Pain barrels any tub shaped container really can work as a pot. Try gardening with creative containers. Try wheelbarrows, tool boxes, wagons and other things you have lying around your home. Drill holes in your container and add pebbles or stones before adding any soil to insure good drainage.
3. Start from seeds. Though it may sound like more work…seeds are a lot cheaper than buying saplings and small plants. One packet of tomato seeds is often equivalent to the price of one tomato start yet you get the potential of at least 30-40 plants in each packet. While it may take longer and require advance planning, starting the majority of your plants from seed can mean big savings. Plus its very rewarding to watch a plant grow from a seed right before your eyes. When planting seeds to grown on to seedlings, don’t fork out (excuse the pun!) loads of money for plant pots, use yogurt pots, toilet rolls and cut up kitchen rolls. You can also use butter tubs, fromage frais pots, mousse pots and more. Just make sure they are all thoroughly clean.
4. Shop end-of-season sales. It’s easy to remember to do this when shopping for clothes and other household items, but I forget the same goes for plants. You can get a great deal on outdoor plants and trees shopping at the end of the season. Even annuals that are almost out of season are a good buy. They won’t bloom again until next year, but for the savings you’re getting it’s worth it to plant them now and wait until next year to enjoy them. You can also get a great deal on fruit trees at the end of the season. Don’t forget to check out the sidewalks of grocery stores and neighborhood markets. They mark down the prices of plants significantly at the end of the season.
5. Don’t be fooled by cheap gardening tools. Don’t be fooled that cheap tools are a bargain, some times these can be a false economy as they are not strong enough and can break easily. Why not try borrowing some or even purchasing some good strong second hand tools. You can even try using empty butter tubs as a hand held shovel and spade. Use a rolling pin as a dibber, the possibilities are endless. But purchasing cheap tools that are of poor quality will cost you in the long run. You do not have to have all of the new garden tools. Your ancestors made do with little more than a hoe and a horse and plow.
6. Divide and transplant. It doesn’t take long for plants to start to take over your flower beds. Some herbs and daisies seem to creep inches through the flower bed each week. Instead of letting plants like these take over the flower bed, transplant them to another part of the yard or in another pot. Flowers like daisies are easy to dig out in big clumps and move around wherever you want them. In several years time, the investment of a few dozen flowers or flower bulbs can multiply into many times the amount you recently purchased.
7. Grow useful vegetables. It’s easy to get carried away in vegetable gardens and get all caught up in having a little of this, and a little of that, often spending more than you intended to and growing vegetables that cost next to nothing at the grocery store when they’re in season. For example, green peppers in season you can get for 4 or more for $1. That’s why they maybe not worth it for you to grow them. Tomatoes, on the other hand, are definitely worth the effort and will save you some money in the summer.
8. Share, give, and receive. It’s fun to trade plants with friends and family. It’s easy to landscape your yard this way. Iris bulbs from one friend, grape vines from another, it adds up fast! From people looking to get the excess plants out of their yard. After your yard has had a few years to get established, you will be able to share also. This is the best way to plant your yard with no expense at all.
9. Use effective kitchen ingredients that control pests. You can use vinegar as an herbicide. Household vinegar or any other concentrations of acetic acid is very effective in killing weeds. Using vinegar as a weed killer is an organic, environmentally safe way to control the unwanted weeds in the garden premises. It is cost effective also. Wipe the leaves of your plant using a soft cloth with some lukewarm soapy water to keep away fungus and pests. Other ingredients in your kitchen that work well to prevent fungus and keep away insects and pests are lemon, mint oil, garlic and jalapeño peppers.
10. Sow more than you need. While planting seeds, sow more than you need. This was when you have extra seedlings you can either exchange them with friends for a a different plant or even sell them and make a few bucks.
Read Full Post »