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6 ideas for gardening on a budget

20th Jun '19 • By Georgia Budden

There are a few tips and tricks you can learn along the way to help you save a bundle in the garden. We’ve put together our best tips so you can keep some cash in your pocket and use the savings for other areas around the home.

1. Grow from seeds

It can be tempting to buy a large expensive plant from your local nursery. Yes, it may look great, but you’ll have spent most of your budget on one single plant! Trust us, it will be a more rewarding and enjoyable experience watching your plant grow from a number of seeds.

Jane Wilson, manager of Fantastic Cleaners, suggests to “save seeds [...] each year, rummage through any fallen fruits and vegetables, collect their seeds, dry them and store them for next year. Nowadays there are also websites where you can trade seeds with other gardeners.“ If this sounds all too complicated, visit your local nursery, where not only can you buy seeds but get advice on growing your own fruit and vegetables.

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2. Plant perennials

If you want something now and for the best price, look at purchasing some perennials. They are one of the cheapest flowers available and they will quickly fill your garden bed without a lot of fuss.

They are a popular flower, simply because they not only look great, but are very hardy and last a really long time. The average lifespan of perennials can last three seasons or more. This will enable you to plant them in your garden without the worry of replacing  them every season.

Veronicas, Russian sage, blanket flower and asters are just some of the varieties of perennials you can purchase. These versatile plants will help you decorate your garden for many seasons to come. Do some research and choose the right type of flowers for your garden and climate - it will certainly pay off in the long run!

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3. Plant trees

Another way to give your garden some substance is to plant a few trees. That’s right, planting small trees is a great way to make an investment for the future. Although it will take time and patience, in 5-10 years you’ll be growing beautiful trees. Make sure you take into account the maintenance that will go into each tree type, although once they are established, trees will require very little ongoing care. Climate, soil and sunlight are the main keys to excellent growth, so make sure you check plant tags to ensure they are suitable and will thrive in your garden space.

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4. Create gravel paths

Gravel is a cheap option for garden pathways, which make for a great addition to any garden. Even if your garden is a little sparse or not that populated, a great pathway can elevate or improve the look of the landscape design. Pathways also are a perfect opportunity for creating decorative areas where you can put up railings and lights! Gravel comes in different varieties, so be sure to find a type that suits your garden style.

For example, decomposed granite is relatively cheap and readily available. You can set it up in almost no time and it does present a great look. It has a reddish tan that fades over time so you can expect changes in colours throughout the seasons as well. Be careful if your home has wooden floor boards, because granite can be walked in on your shoes and will scratch. This can mean a greater need to re-sand and polish.

Pea gravel is another choice which offers the same affordability with better traction and a sturdier look. This type of gravel goes great with small gardens; it complements most decors and can also be levelled as per your requirement. Similarly, river rock and crushed granite are two additional options you can look into as well. 

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5. Swap cuttings

Ask your friends, family and even neighbours, if you can take some cuttings from their gardens. This arrangement usually works best if you’re able to swap cuttings, and is a fantastic backyard idea for a small budget. Asking for cuttings from other gardens is a great and cost effective way to expand the variety of plants in your garden. The money saved can therefore be utilised to improve other areas.

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6. Make your own compost

Garden compost can be quite expensive to purchase but there is a cheaper option – try making your own! Use your old food scraps, weeds, cardboard, fallen leaves and twigs to get started. On average, it will take around three months for a full decomposition. Even though you do have to bide some time, the organic matter created acts as a soil conditioner. This gives your plants and vegetables the best chance to not only survive but bloom and provide food for the table. There is nothing better than eating your own produce!

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Further reading:
5 things to renovate in your garden this winter
How to prepare your garden for winter
5 tips to remember before growing your own vegetables
The best gardening trends for 2019

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