Why gardens don't have to be expensive

Why gardens don't have to be expensive

Keeping a garden is a time-consuming exercise and, as spring approaches, the cost of sprucing it up can definitely leave a huge hole in your pocket! However, it’s the sort of time-consuming exercise that yields far more with every changing season. Keeping your garden up to scratch doesn’t have to become a tedious and expensive chore. It’s possible to maintain your backyard to a high standard without having to spend an obscene amount of money, so grab your gardening clothes and tools and start cost-effective planting.

• Gone to seed

A packet of seeds is cheaper than a seedling, the only drawback is that the seed will take just a little longer to grow and need a little more nurturing as it begins to grow, but the upside is that you’ll have more plants than you’d get from a seedling and you don’t even have to plant the entire packet. What’s more, you can go online and swap and buy specific seeds from your fellow backyard-horticulturists.

• Composting 1-2-3

Compost is not expensive per se, however, filling up an old bin with the peels and pips from your fresh veg and fruit is even more inexpensive because it doesn’t cost a penny. Be sure to make the ratio a 50-50 split of green and brown waste. Leaves twigs, bark, sawdust paper, egg cartons and cardboard are all brown waste, whereas grass cuttings, old flowers, vegetable peels and even coffee grounds, teabags make up your green waste. Don’t add meat, cooked food, greasy pizza boxes, diseased plants and weeds as these will infect your compost. Onion peelings and citrus should also be avoided because they act as worm repellents and you need the earthworms for good compost.

• Grow your own

Weeding has taken on a whole new meaning in this day of conflicting ideas of conservation, cultivation, climate change and environmental health. Weeds, once seen as the indicator of a badly kept garden, have risen to new levels of prominence and are on a par with the lovely wildflowers blown into your garden. Weeds have finally been recognised for the function they serve as indicators of soil condition. Knowing your soil’s condition is essential to maintaining the health of your garden because a healthy garden yields more and costs less to maintain. Treehugger.com has some great information on weeds.

• Landfill relief and the recycling habit

It’s always nice having a brand new tool, instrument, gadget or thing, but before you go out and buy that brand new weed-eater, lawnmower, wheelbarrow, hosepipe, or sprayer, consider giving your existing equipment a second chance, for example, your shears might just need a new blade to become good as new. It’s far more cost-effective and you’ll be doing your bit to lessen carbon footprints too.

The Micro Gardener has some wonderful tips on how to reuse and recycle household items in your garden.

Did you know that gardening is not just relaxing but can also increase the value of your home? As if you needed another reason to get your fingers dirty.

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